Tax return preparation

Checklist for your personal tax return

CVW Accounting
Published June 3, 2020

Tax return checklist

Please review the personal tax return information below and contact our office if you need assistance.

Income threshold tax payable

For your benefit, below is the Australian resident tax rates. Make a note for yourself where your annual earnings place you so you can roughly estimate the tax you may need to pay.

Resident tax rates 2023–24
Taxable income Tax on this income
0 – $18,200 Nil
$18,201 – $45,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$45,001 – $120,000 $5,092 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001 – $180,000 $29,467 plus 37c for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 and over $51,667 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000


Resident tax rates 2022–23
Taxable income Tax on this income
0 – $18,200 Nil
$18,201 – $45,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$45,001 – $120,000 $5,092 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $45,000
$120,001 – $180,000 $29,467 plus 37c for each $1 over $120,000
$180,001 and over $51,667 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

The above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 2%.

For next financial year’s resident tax rates click here.

Common work-related claims made by individuals

Below are common types of deductible expenses claimed by individual taxpayers, such as employees and rental property owners, plus strategies and necessary records to increase your individual tax return deductions.

If you haven’t already done so, take some time to create structures to record these expenses for the coming financial year.

For those that have not kept detailed records, work through the following steps one at a time. It may seem a lot now however if you create structures for next year, you will be better off.

Depreciable plant and equipment costing $300 or less

Salary and wage earners as well as rental property owners are generally entitled to an immediate deduction if plant costing $300 or less is purchased before 1 July.

Such purchases may include:

  • fax machines;
  • telephones;
  • books and trade journals;
  • briefcases/luggage or suitcases;
  • calculators, electronic organisers;
  • software;
  • stationery;
  • tools of trade

Clothing expenses

If you purchase or pay for work-related clothing expenses prior to the end of the income year, remember to keep your receipts.

This includes compulsory (or non-compulsory and registered) uniforms, and occupation specific and protective clothing. Also expenses associated with work-related clothing e.g. dry cleaning, laundry and repair expenses.

Self-education expenses

Consider pre-paying the following self-education items before the end of the financial year and add these costs to your records;

  • course fees (but not HECS-HELP fees), student union fees and tutorial fees;
  • interest on borrowings used to pay for any deductible self-education expenses.

If possible, bring forward purchases of stationery and textbooks i.e. those not required to be depreciated.

Other work-related expenses for your personal tax return

Keep in mind to include the following types of expenses in your individual tax return records.

If, as an employee, you have paid for any of the following expenses in the financial year;

  • union fees;
  • subscriptions to trade, professional or business associations;
  • magazine and newspaper subscriptions;
  • seminars and conferences;
  • income protection insurance (excluding death and total/permanent disability).

NOTE: when prepaying any of the expenses above before 1 July, ensure any services paid for are to be provided within a 12-month period that ends before 1 July next year.

Otherwise, the deductions must generally be claimed over the period of the prepayment.

Information required by CVW Accounting

So, you have completed all the hard work from the checklist above. Now it’s time to contact and/or visit the CVW Accounting team to prepare and lodge your personal tax return on your behalf.

Remember we agree on your fee before we start the work.

You will need to provide the following information to assist us in preparing your income tax return.

Please check the list below in order to provide relevant payment summaries, statements, accounts, receipts, etc. to help us prepare the return.


  • payment summaries for salary and wages;
  • lump sum and termination payments;
  • government pensions and allowances;
  • other pensions and/or annuities;
  • allowances e.g., entertainment, car, tools;
  • interest, rent and dividends;
  • distributions from partnerships or trusts;
  • details of any assets sold that were either used for income earning purposes or which may be caught by capital gains tax.

Individual tax return deductions

(in addition to those mentioned above)

  • award transport allowance claims;
  • bank and government charges on deposits of income, and deductible expenditure;
  • bridge/road tolls (travelling on business);
  • car parking (when travelling on business);
  • conventions, conferences and seminars;
  • depreciation of library, tools, business equipment, including a portion of home computer;
  • gifts or donations;
  • home office running expenses i.e. cleaning, cooling and heating, depreciation of office furniture, lighting, telephone and internet;
  • Interest and dividend deductions which include account keeping fees, ongoing management fees, interest on borrowings to acquire shares, advice relating to changing investments (but not setting them up) as well as interest on loans to purchase equipment or income earning investments;
  • motor vehicle expenses i.e. business/work related;
  • overtime meal allowances;
  • rental property expenses i.e. advertising expenses, council/water rates, insurance, interest and land tax. Also, legal expenses/management fees, genuine repairs and maintenance, telephone expenses, and lastly, travelling to inspect property;
  • superannuation contributions by sole traders or substantially unsupported taxpayers;
  • sun protection items;
  • tax agent fees;
  • telephone expenses i.e. business;
  • tools of trade

Working from home since covid-19

Since the changes caused by covid-19 individuals can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour worked from home. There are of course conditions, which include that you;

  • are working from home to fulfil employment duties not just carrying out minimal tasks like checking emails or taking calls
  • have incurred and can substantiate incurring additional deductible running expenses as a result of working from home.

A separate or dedicated area of your home set aside for working, is not necessary.

The current shortcut method rate covers all deductible running expenses, including:

  • electricity for lighting, cooling or heating and running electronic items used for work e.g. computer, and gas heating expenses
  • the decline in value and repair of capital items, e.g. home office furniture and furnishings
  • cleaning expenses
  • your phone costs, including the decline in value of the handset
  • your internet costs
  • computer consumables e.g. printer ink
  • stationery
  • the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.

Individuals do not have to incur all of these expenses, only additional expenses in some categories as a result of working from home due to covid-19.

Shortcut method to claim deductions

If you use the shortcut method to claim a deduction for your additional running expenses:

  • a further deduction for the expenses listed above, cannot be made.
  • also, you must keep a record of the number of hours worked from home including timesheets, diary notes or rosters.
  • and you lodge your 2019–20 tax return through myGov or a tax agent, you must include a note ‘COVID-hourly rate’ in your tax return.

If you have questions about claiming deductions, call the CVW Accounting office on 08 9219 1300. We are happy to help.

Hopefully this personal tax return checklist is useful for you.

Please drop us a line with any questions and we look forward to completing your income return.

(Last reviewed and updated 12 June 2023)

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