Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) at Tax Time

Do I have to lodge a Tax Return?

Yes, even if you haven’t earned any income you will need to lodge a NIL return or a ‘Return Not Necessary’ with the ATO.

However, if you have previously lodged a ‘final return’ and aren’t receiving any form of income no lodgement is required.

Additionally, if someone passes away, the Executor of their Estate will need to lodge a ‘final return’.


I am an Australian resident but I live overseas, do I need to prepare an Australian Tax Return?

This will depend on where your income is paid from and for how long you are overseas.

There is a difference between being a resident of Australia and being a resident of Australia for tax purposes.

Contact us with your situation and we can let you know what you need to do.

If you remain an Australian tax resident, you must lodge an Australian tax return. If you work overseas for 182 days or less, you must declare to the ATO:

  • all your foreign employment income
  • any exempt income, even if tax was withheld in the country where you earned it.


Can I claim any deductions if I have no receipts?

Yes, if you don’t have any proof of payment you can claim up to $300 worth of deductions.

If you don’t have receipts, you will need to have access to the following should the ATO ever audit you.

  • Documentation that include the name of the supplier, amount of the expense, what the goods or services are, date the expense was incurred for example:
    • Bank statements
    • Credit card statements
    • BPAY reference numbers
    • Email receipts
    • PAYG payment summary
    • Paper or electronic copies of original documents


Can you prepare multiple years returns at the same time?

Yes. Depending on how many years you need to do, you may still be eligible for a Tax Refund.

Penalty interest may be applicable if you have outstanding debts or lodgements.


If I am a sole trader or have multiple jobs, do I have to lodge 2 returns?

No, everyone lodges 1 individual return per year. If you are a sole trader, work multiple jobs or have an investment property, this is all included in the 1 return.


Can I claim driving 5,000km in my car?

It depends. If you have genuinely travelled 5,000km for work related travel and haven’t been reimbursed from your employer, yes you can.

Should the ATO ever audit you, they will request the following:

  • Diary proof of travel.
  • A letter from your employer stating that the travel was work related.
  • Proof that the car is registered in your name or in the name of a spouse.


I have sold a property, do I need to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT)?

It depends. If you have sold an Investment Property, chances are you may be required to pay CGT. Factors include:

  • If you have ever lived in the property
  • If you own other properties
  • The price you purchased it for
  • The price you sold it for
  • Other costs involved

If you have sold property or shares in the financial year, bring this up with your accountant as you may be required to pay CGT.


I made a loss on property or shares, do I need to include this on my tax return?

Yes. Capital losses are carried forward and deducted from capital gains in future years. There is no time limit on how long you can carry forward a net capital loss.


“Got any questions? The FAA Team are here to help!”

John Hehir