1. Do I get my tax rebate in cash?
Yes, you will get a cheque that you can immediately deposit in your bank.
2. If the tax department trusts me to assess my own taxable income, why shouldn't I just take my chances and exaggerate my deductions?
The Tax Office devotes significant resources to the random checking and audit of returns. Penalties apply to fraudulent and mistaken tax returns.
If you are concerned about your personal tax and how to calculate it, you can ask for a "private ruling". Before you do this talk to your tax advisor e.g. your accountant.
3. Okay, but what if I make an honest mistake?
You will find in your Tax Pack a guarantee that a taxpayer who honestly and diligently follows the instructions in the booklet and then makes an honest mistake will not be liable. You can also get a copy of the Taxpayers' Charter from the Tax Office.
4. How much can I claim for donations to my Church? Some were cash and some were goods I made in my workshop with materials I paid for.
The amount of the deduction depends on the type of gift. For gifts of money, it is the amount of the gift. For gifts of property, there are various valuation rules – ask your tax agent.
5. What about improvements to a property that we have made since we bought it – does that attract capital gains tax?
A building, structure or other capital improvement on land that you acquired on or after 20 September 1985 will be a separate CGT asset in some cases. You must get professional advice about this.
6. Do I have to pay my tax if I object against an assessment?
Yes. you must still pay the tax as it has been assessed. However, if the objection is upheld, you will receive a refund of the amount you have overpaid plus interest.
7. What are the implications of a salary sacrifice for me as an employer?
A salary sacrifice arrangement giving employees a non-cash benefit may mean you have an FBT obligation for those non-cash benefits.
8. I don't understand why we can't deduct the cost of the delivery van we bought for our flower business? After all, we can't run the business without it!
True, but the benefit lasts over a long period of time, perhaps the life of the business, and so it is not considered an "expense" as such. Remember, you will certainly be able to deduct the cost of maintenance, petrol etc.
9. We have a car that is used solely for the business. We are registered for GST. Can we get a GST credit?
Usually yes, based on the amount you use the motor vehicle in carrying on your business.
10. Can I get an extension to pay my tax?
It is possible to get an extension from the ATO, but you will have to convince them that there are legitimate reasons for it to be granted.
Last Updated – April 2010