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Tax deadline looms: How to get an extra $1,500 tax back

A composite image of Australian currency on a table with a receipt and calculator and a person filling out a tax deductions form.
Aussies have been warned to get their tax return in before the deadline. (Source: Getty)

The tax deadline is looming and those who haven’t yet lodged their tax return with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) could be missing out on thousands of dollars.

Not only that but missing the October 31 tax deadline could cost you big time.

So with a few weeks left to get your tax return in order, director of tax communications at H&R Block Mark Chapman has shared his tips to make sure you get the most out of your return.

Here’s what you need to know.

How to get $1,500 tax back

For anyone needing an extra reason to submit their tax return by the deadline, Chapman said it’s good to remember this is the last year you can access $1,500 tax back under the low- and middle-income tax offset (LMITO).

“If your income is less than $126,000, you’ll get at least some or all of the offset,” he said.

“For those who earn less than $37,000, the offset is $675. If you earn between $37,000 and $48,000, the offset will increase up to a maximum of $1,500.

“Those with annual incomes of between $48,000 and $90,000 will receive the full $1,500 offset.”

Anyone earning over $90,000 will see the offset gradually fade out and anyone earning over $126,000 won’t get access to the LMITO.

How to avoid being fined $1,110

If you haven't lodged your tax return or registered with a tax agent by October 31 you could be looking at a serious fine.

“The value of a penalty unit is currently $222 so the maximum penalty which can be applied for an individual is $1,110,” Chapman said.

“The good news is that, whilst the penalty is normally applied automatically, it is not normally applied to returns that either have a nil result or generate a refund.”

How to get the most out of your return

Chapman said many Aussies leave hundreds of dollars on the table in unclaimed deductions every year.

“It pays to get smart when claiming working from home expenses for the year ended June 30 2022,” Chapman said.

“You have a choice of three different methods for making your claim; the 80 cent per hour flat rate, the 52 cent per hour flat rate or the ‘actual’ method.”

Chapman said that while it may sound like the most generous, the 80 cent rate does not allow you to claim anything else for working from home.

The 52 cent rate however allows you to make separate claims for the work-related proportion of items such as your home internet, mobile phone costs, depreciation of computer equipment, stationery, and printer ink.

“For someone working from home for the entire tax year, that could amount to about $1,200 in extra deductions, which equals $390 in extra tax,” Chapman said.

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