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Sole traders: How to lodge your quickest tax return ever

Show tax time who’s boss this year by lodging your quickest ever tax return. If you’re a sole trader or entrepreneur, completing your tax doesn’t have to be the laborious task it once was, in fact, you could find it easier than ever to lodge your return this year. Here’s everything you need to know.

How should I submit my tax return?

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the fastest way to submit your tax is online using myTax. The online program pre-fills information from bank and government agencies and is perfect for individuals who want to lodge their own tax return, including sole traders. Refunds through myTax are also delivered faster – generally within two weeks of submitting your tax return.

Alternatively, you can also submit your tax return through a registered tax agent. If you have a number of deductions or have launched your business this year, hiring an accountant to help complete your tax return could save you hours of time.

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What do I need to do to be ready?

Don’t leave it until June 30 to sort out your paperwork. The best way to make sure you can get tax time sorted quickly, is to get organised early. That way, you can lodge a no-fuss tax return and potentially get your refund sooner rather than later.

1 Be aware of tax deductions

One of the biggest elements of lodging your tax return as a sole trader will be working out your tax deductions. There are a number of deductions you may be able to claim but it can get confusing, so it’s best to get a professional accountant to help you.

To save time come June 30, it’s worth keeping tax deductions front of mind throughout the entire year. As you conduct business, ask yourself – is this purchase or ongoing cost a potential tax deduction? If so, make sure you keep any and all receipts and invoices as proof of purchase.

2 Organise your receipts

There’s nothing worse than pulling out a shoebox of faded receipts come June 30 and having to piece them together one by one. Keep control of your receipts by downloading the QuickBooks Self-Employed app. From there, you can take a photo of your receipts and store them online.

3 Separate personal from business

So you’ve made the leap into the wonderful world of small business, but have you separated your business and personal bank accounts? The faster you do this, the better off you’ll be long term.

Untangle your transactions so you can clearly see what is coming in and what is going out. This will also help when you invest in accounting software – you’ll be able to connect your bank account and automatically track your expenses and your business income.

4 Upgrade to the cloud

Move off the excel spreadsheet and transfer over to cloud accounting software. That way, when tax time rolls around, you’ll have all your paperwork, invoices and receipts in one place, ready to go.

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