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Tax for Australians for Dummies, 2014 - 15 Edition

Book Description

Maximise deductions, get more out of returns, and file tax with confidence

Tax for Australians For Dummies helps you beat the taxman at his own game and get the maximum refund you're entitled to. Find out what you can claim as an employee, student, retiree, or small business owner on expenses like home offices, cars, investment properties, self-education, Super contributions, and more. Comprehensively updated for the 2014-15 tax year, this book provides complete coverage of changes to the tax legislation, as well as proposed changes that haven't made it into law yet. You'll learn tax tips, technicalities, and warnings, and get information on what things like financial hardship, relationships, and employment type mean when it comes to tax. Designed to help you take advantage of everything from investments to kids to government concessions, this book has you covered from every angle.

Do you want to be sure you're getting the maximum tax refund? Of course! Tax for Australians For Dummies is the only resource you need to ensure that you get every cent you deserve. Easy to read and clearly explained, this book guides you step by step through the complex Australian tax system to show you what you can claim, and exactly what you're owed.

  • Get the latest tax rates, FBT, CGT, and superannuation thresholds

  • Learn about the 0.5% increase in Medicare levy and 2% temporary budget repair levy on high income earners

  • Investigate the changes to small business deductions

  • Discover what marriage and same-sex relationships mean at tax time

  • Explore the tax implications for running your own self-managed superannuation fund

  • Prepare your taxes yourself without worrying about missing out on deductions and shorting yourself on your refund. Tax for Australians For Dummies provides the most up-to-date information and step-by-step instruction to get every cent that you should.

    Table of Contents

      1. Introduction
        1. About This Book
        2. Foolish Assumptions
        3. Icons Used in This Book
        4. Beyond the Book
        5. Where to Go from Here
      2. Part I: How You’re Taxed in Australia
        1. Chapter 1: Understanding the Australian Tax System
          1. Explaining the Australian Tax System
          2. Understanding Your Income Tax Rates
            1. Federal taxes
            2. State and local taxes
          3. Taxing Major Income Streams
            1. Taxing your treasures: CGT assets
            2. Bringing home the money: International sources of income
          4. Taxing a Company
        2. Chapter 2: Taxing Australians: The Formula You Need to Know
          1. Doing Your Sums
          2. Declaring What You Earn: Assessable Income
            1. Ordinary income
            2. Statutory income
          3. Keeping What You Receive: Exempt Income
          4. Reducing Your Tax Bill: General Deductions
            1. Check out the first leg: First positive limb
            2. Examine the next leg: Second positive limb
            3. Be aware of the negatives: Negative limbs
            4. Figure out when something is incurred
          5. Looking for Tax Offsets
        3. Chapter 3: Lodging Your Tax Return: This One Is for the Nation
          1. Preparing Your Individual Tax Return
            1. Receiving a PAYG payment summary
            2. Claiming work-related car expenses
            3. Claiming work-related travel expenses
            4. Claiming tax offsets (rebates)
          2. Receiving a Thank-You Note: Notice of Assessment
          3. Preparing Other Tax Returns
            1. Partnership tax return
            2. Company tax return
            3. Trust tax return
            4. SMSF tax return
          4. Neglecting to Lodge Your Prior Years’ Tax Returns
        4. Chapter 4: Receiving a Visit: When the Tax Office Comes Knocking
          1. Being Honest with Yourself: Self-Assessment
          2. Getting a Reality Check: Tax Audit
            1. Preparing for an audit
            2. Points to keep in mind
          3. Mending Your Ways: Amendments and Objections
      3. Part II: Income from Personal Exertion
        1. Chapter 5: Taxing Employees: Working Class Folk
          1. Earning a Living: Salary and Wages
            1. Determining your employment status
            2. Reducing the burden: Receiving an allowance
            3. Getting a living-away-from-home allowance
            4. Adding to the nest egg via SG
            5. Adding to the nest egg via personal contributions
            6. Easing the pain: Getting a termination payment
            7. Moving on: Getting a redundancy payment
          2. Working Out Your Income Tax Rate
          3. Claiming a Tax Deduction: What’s On the Menu
            1. Proving what you did: Substantiation provisions
            2. Common types of work-related deductions
            3. Increasing your skills and knowledge: Claiming work-related self-education expenses
        2. Chapter 6: Living in Your Castle: Main Residence
          1. Addressing the Issue: This is Where I Live
          2. Buying Your Main Residence: Taxation Concessions
          3. Keeping What’s Yours: Exempt from Tax
          4. Sharing What’s Yours: When You Have to Pay Tax
          5. Maintaining a Home Office
          6. Transferring Property: Marriage or Relationship Breakdown
        3. Chapter 7: Taxing Issues That Affect Students and Your Children
          1. Raiding the Piggy Bank: Taxing Under 18s
            1. Taxing your children’s investment accounts
            2. Taxing the paper round: Employment income
          2. Getting a Distribution from a Trust
          3. Checking Out Special Disability Trusts
          4. Getting Something Back: Family Tax Offsets
            1. Family Tax Benefit (Part A)
            2. Family Tax Benefit (Part B)
            3. Paid parental leave scheme
            4. Child care rebate
            5. Schoolkids Bonus
      4. Part III: Tax-Effective Investments
        1. Chapter 8: Interesting Stuff: Bank Deposits and Tax
          1. Banking the Return: Interest
          2. Interesting Claims
        2. Chapter 9: Owning Part of the Company: Investing in Shares
          1. Sharing the Profits: Dividends
            1. ‘Frankly’, my dear …
            2. Reducing dividend payments: What can I claim?
            3. Borrowing to build your wealth: Interest payments
          2. Taxing Your Gains and Losses
        3. Chapter 10: Building Your Dreams: Investing in Bricks and Mortar
          1. Collecting the Rent
          2. Reducing the Costs: What You Can Claim
          3. Apportioning Expenditure: The Bits You Can’t Claim
          4. Claiming Specific Deductions: What’s on the List
            1. Depreciating your assets
            2. Understanding capital works deductions
            3. Repairing what’s yours
            4. Going in reverse: Negative gearing
            5. Calculating non-deductible expenditure
            6. Paying 10 per cent: Goods and services tax
            7. Deriving rent from overseas
        4. Chapter 11: Catching Up on Capital Gains Tax
          1. Looking at the Rules: CGT Assets
            1. Taxing your stamp collection: Collectables
            2. Taxing your underwear: Personal use assets
            3. Taxing all your treasures: Your other assets
          2. Calculating a Capital Gain
            1. Rolling in dough: Capital proceeds
            2. Adding up the costs: Cost base
            3. Going modern: After 21 September 1999
            4. Getting a history lesson: Before 21 September 1999
            5. Crying over spilt milk: Capital losses
          3. Selling or Transferring Your Business Premises to Your SMSF and CGT
      5. Part IV: Running a Business
        1. Chapter 12: Structuring Your Business for Maximum Gain
          1. Choosing a Business Entity
          2. Becoming a Sole Trader: Going It Alone
            1. Inhaling the good news
            2. Exhaling the bad news
          3. Forming a Partnership: Sharing the Workload
            1. Key partnership taxation principles you need to know
            2. Sharing the good stuff
            3. Taking on board the bad stuff
          4. Creating a Company: The More the Merrier
            1. Understanding the good bits
            2. Dealing with the bad bits
          5. Trusting in Trusts
            1. Examining what’s good about trusts
            2. Checking out the evils of trusts
        2. Chapter 13: Starting a Business: On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!
          1. Getting the Show on the Road
            1. Obtaining a tax file number
            2. Applying for an Australian Business Number
            3. Registering for GST
          2. Getting to Grips with Record Keeping
          3. Taking on Employees
          4. Examining Tax Concessions for Small Business
          5. Choosing How You Recognise Your Income
          6. Taking Stock of Things
            1. Valuing your trading stock
            2. Understanding the nitty gritty of trading stock
          7. Planning Ahead: Business Succession Planning
        3. Chapter 14: Reducing Your Small Business Tax Bill
          1. Understanding the Rules: What Can I Claim?
          2. Getting Specific with Problematic Deductions
            1. Writing off your depreciating assets
            2. Dealing with bad debts
            3. Paying interest on borrowings
            4. Borrowing expenses
            5. Losing money by theft
            6. Getting a legal opinion: Legal costs
            7. Getting tax help: Tax-related expenses
            8. Stamping a lease: Lease document expenses
            9. Discharging the mortgage
            10. Claiming a superannuation deduction
            11. Running a primary production business
            12. Losing money: Business losses
        4. Chapter 15: Collecting Tax for the Government: Goods and Services Tax
          1. Collecting 10 Per Cent
            1. Taxing your sales: What are taxable sales (supplies)?
            2. Examining input taxed sales (supplies)
            3. Checking out GST-free sales (supplies)
          2. Registering for GST
          3. Paying the GST
        5. Chapter 16: Living on the Fringe: Fringe Benefits Tax
          1. Coming to Terms with FBT
          2. Calculating the FBT
          3. Determining a Car’s FBT
            1. Using the statutory formula method
            2. Using the operating cost method
          4. Packaging Your Salary
        6. Chapter 17: Getting Wealthy: CGT and Small Business
          1. Keeping What You Sow: Tasting the Tax Incentive Goodies
            1. Qualifying for CGT relief
            2. CGT assets that don’t qualify for CGT relief
            3. Businesses operated through a company or trust
          2. CGT Concessions for Small Business
            1. Checking out the 15-year exemption
            2. Getting a helping hand: 50 per cent reduction
            3. Thinking about retiring: Retirement concession
            4. Transferring your gains: Rollover concession
          3. Identifying Common Tax Mistakes: CGT Concessions for Small Business
      6. Part V: Thinking Long-Term
        1. Chapter 18: Preparing for Retirement Using Superannuation
          1. Complying and Non-Complying Super Funds
          2. Choosing a Goose to Lay the Golden Egg
            1. Doing it yourself: Setting up your own fund
            2. Checking out the rules
          3. Taxing Your Nest Egg
            1. Taxing super funds
            2. Claiming a tax deduction
          4. Making a Contribution: Understanding the Rules
            1. Examining concessional and non-concessional contributions
            2. Getting older: Under and over 65 years
            3. Helping out the boss: Employee contributions
            4. Being in charge: Employer contributions
            5. Working for yourself: Self-employed contributions
            6. Getting what’s due: Government incentives
          5. Getting the Money: Conditions of Release
            1. Maturing nicely: Under 55 years
            2. Reaching your preservation age
            3. Between 55 years and 59 years
            4. Between 60 years and 64 years
            5. Feeling great: Over 65 years
        2. Chapter 19: Reaping What You Sow: Receiving a Pension and Government Concessions
          1. Paddling the Superannuation Stream: Types of Super Pension
            1. Learning about transition to retirement pensions
            2. Understanding non-account-based pensions
            3. Getting familiar with account-based pensions
          2. Getting Help: Government Pensions and Allowances
            1. Getting back what you deserve: Tax offsets
            2. Being allowed to keep it: What isn’t taxed
        3. Chapter 20: Death and Taxes: Wills and Asset Distribution
          1. Preparing a Will
          2. Taxing Your Income
          3. Sharing Your Pension
          4. Taxing All Your Treasures
      7. Part VI: The Part of Tens
        1. Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Minimise Your Tax while Keeping the Tax Office Happy
          1. Keep Good Records
          2. Take Advantage of New Developments
          3. Get a Helping Hand from the Tax Office
          4. Lose Money the Right Way
          5. Contribute to a Super Fund
          6. Claim a Super Tax Deduction
          7. Take Advantage of the Low Income Threshold
          8. Package Your Salary
          9. Tap In to Negative Gearing
          10. Account for Income and Deductions
        2. Chapter 22: Ten Common Tax Mistakes You Need to Avoid
          1. Not Adhering to Small Business Tax Requirements
          2. Not Keeping Your Business Records in Shape
          3. Not Registering for (Or Collecting) GST Properly
          4. Understating Your Income
          5. Overstating Your Deductions
          6. Incorrectly Claiming Certain Expenses
          7. Not Following the Tax Rules for CGT
          8. Not Running a SMSF by the Book
          9. Not Adhering to the Guidelines of a SMSF Pension Fund
          10. Not Complying with Tax Rules for Real Estate
        3. Appendix A: Taxing the Visitors: Non-Residents
      8. Glossary
      9. Index
      10. About the Author
      11. Business & Investing
      12. Connect with Dummies