More than 70% of individual taxpayers, and 95% of businesses, call on a tax professional to prepare their tax returns, making Australians among the world's highest users of tax agent services. But to get the most out of a tax professional - to help them help you - some basic records and documents are essential. We run through the information required that may help your tax agent put you in a better tax position, and also look at the areas we know the Tax Office will be paying close attention to this tax time.

Are you a resident or non-resident for tax purposes? It may seem like a simple conclusion to draw, but for the taxman the answer may not always be so clear-cut. We look at the differences, and the advantages and disadvantages of each tax status.

SMSF trustees will be aware that the fund's tax return deadline is on the horizon, and therefore the need to have a fund audit completed also looms large - an essential requisite to stay compliant, to which the Tax Office is maintaining vigilant attention. And did you know that under dire emergency, it is possible to access some of your superannuation savings; but strict rules apply.

Should you require more information regarding any topic touched upon in this newsletter, please feel free to contact our office for personal advice.

Please CLICK HERE to open our Client Information Newsletter - August 2012 edition, which covers the following:

Personal Topics:

Tax returns and the Taxman:
It is an accepted fact that taxpayers need to keep adequate records and receipts for taxation purposes. But, the better organised and ordered tax record keeping is, the better we will be able to do what we do understand and make the most of your financial circumstances and to work towards a better tax outcome for you.  We provide you with the professions the Tax Office advise as being on their radar to review for work related deductions in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 tax years.

Resident or non-resident: What's the difference? The Tax Office views "residency" in an entirely different way to other Australian governmental agencies that deal with things like immigration, visas and citizenship. We explain the difference in the way the Tax Office categorises residents and non-residents and we highlight the tax advantages and disadvantages for both categories.

Business Topics:

Get ready for your SMSF audit:
Self Managed Superannuation Funds have to appoint an "approved" auditor at least 30 days before the due date of the SMSF annual return. If the auditor identifies any compliance contraventions the trustee should then take action to rectify them. That way a trustee can be avoid being penalised by the Tax Office and potentially risk their fund being deemed non-compliant and losing its tax concessions. We highlight the main areas the Tax Office are targeting under its SMSF compliance program for 2012.

Superannuation Topics:

Emergency money from your super fund: The rules: Compassionate reasons can serve as grounds for withdrawing pre-retirement or preserved super - but strict rules apply. We outline the five specific circumstances under which the Department of Human Services may consider an early release of money from your super fund.


Should you require more information regarding any topic touched upon in this newsletter, please feel free to contact this office for personal advice.