tax returns

Aussies are racing to file their tax returns – but should expats hold off?

It’s tax season and the rush is most definitely on to get tax returns done and dusted.

There are reports that at least 650,0000
people down under have already sent their tax returns into the ATO, a spike in numbers we don’t usually see this early in the tax season.

The carrot enticing many Australians to file their returns early is the government’s tax cuts, which will see most middle-income earners receive a tax offset of at least $1,080.

That tax sweetener was promised by new Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the recent election campaign, and though there was some political argy-bargy to pass the cuts through parliament, the extra money is now up for grabs.

The theory is the extra cash will boost the local economy – and the government is pushing Aussies hard to get their tax return in and get the money trickling through the markets.

But is it a good idea for Australian expats to join the rush for the cash?

Be as thorough as you can be with a tax return

For many expats living overseas, tax can be a complicated issue with plenty of assets in play in different areas.

You may have a house in Australia and a share portfolio that’s paying dividends, but you could also have investments in properties overseas or financial arrangements elsewhere.

It’s absolutely vital that the tax return you file is completely accurate, but also takes advantage of tax breaks like negative gearing and tax-paid franked dividends and various other that you may be entitled to.

Rushing to get a one-off $1,080 tax sweetener is one thing; missing the fine detail that may get you an even higher return is another.

Take your time

The $1,080 tax sweetener is great and at Expat Taxes we can help make sure you get it, if that’s what you’re entitled to.

But we also reckon there’s no point in rushing through the Australian tax return if you miss out on other things you deserve to get too.

The ATO reckons it’s working hammer and tongs to process the influx of returns it’s getting right now. Let them work.

Meanwhile, be as thorough as you can with your own tax return, and enlist the help of people who know expatriate taxes inside and out.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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