Mind the Gap - Tax for teens

Script 11 - How Can I Stay Organised?

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Alright. There are documents everywhere.
Your receipts, your notice of assessment, your tax return, and all your PAYG Payment Summaries. You need this stuff. Generally, the tax office requires you keep good records for about five years.

Why?

Because at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all, the tax office might audit you.

An audit is basically when the ATO gets an official accountant to check all your records to see if you’ve been lying on your taxes. If it happens, it’s a big hassle because you have to pull up all your records from the years past to prove you haven’t been lying. And if you have, you can get into some pretty big trouble and you’ll probably have to pay back all the tax you owe as well. And interest. And fines.

Hayden, for example, might not be the most organised person.
We need to get him a filing system. It’ll be easier in the long run.

Just get a folder or a file with different sections. File things away according to the financial year and make notes on stuff that might confuse you later. Stuff you might forget about. Like your deductions. A box of receipts could be confusing, unless you’ve filed them by year with a list and some information about each one. Some people don’t have many deductions, but some people have a lot. People usually lose their receipts. Some people run off one day and buy a pair of boots, they lose the receipt somewhere in their house or it goes in the wash, and then it never gets claimed.
Get your file and put it somewhere in your room where it’s safe and won’t get lost. When you buy something, as soon as you get home put the receipt in a plastic sleeve with the other receipts, sorted by financial year, and also write the deduction on a list.
So put down: 1 pair of boots, bought on the first of September, they cost sixty five dollars, and my boss says I need them for my safety. This is all useful information when it comes to claiming deductions. What it is, when you got it, how much it was, and why you need it for work.

Remember, not everything you need for work is deductable. Check with the ATO or your accountant.

This way, when you sit down to do your taxes, your deductions will be so easy. You could even just hand the file over to your tax agent and he’ll do the whole thing.
Just make sure you don’t put off doing your tax filing. File things away carefully as soon as you get the receipt.

And that’s it.