How to maximise your tax return

The contents provided on this page are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. Consider your personal circumstances and objectives before making any financial decisions.

With tax time fast approaching, you might be busy thinking about all the paperwork you need to lodge your tax return. Try using our tips for preparing to lodge your tax return!  

Now is also a good time to think about what you can do to maximise your tax return. Taking proactive steps now can help set you up for a successful tax season and potentially increase the amount you get back from the ATO.

Let’s take a look at 7 things you could do to maximise your tax return this year!

1. Buy a new laptop or computer for work

If you’re in need of a new laptop or computer for work, you might be able to find a good deal during end of financial year (EOFY) sales in June. Timing your purchase this way could help you maximise your tax return as you could go on to claim your purchase as a deduction when you lodge your tax return in July. This allows you to claim your expenses almost instantly, rather than waiting a whole year! 

This can also include a monitor, printer and software or programs, such as subscriptions and anti-virus software.

Keep in mind: 

  • You must be using the equipment you claim for work. 
  • You must have a record to support your claim, such as a receipt. 
  • How you claim your deduction changes whether your claim is more or less than $300. Check the ATO website for deduction guidelines. 

2. Sign up for a course

Thinking of attending a course or learning new skills to help you in your current role (and maybe even give you the opportunity to increase your salary)? 

To try and maximise your tax return, you could consider signing up for a course, seminar or conference now to include in your expenses when you lodge your tax return in July. 

Keep in mind: 

  • Your course must be relevant to your current employment. 
  • You can claim costs associated with registration and a portion of your transport expenses. 
  • You can only claim accommodation and meals if you’re required to travel overnight to attend the course.  

3. Renew your professional memberships

If you have professional memberships that are up for renewal soon, you could consider renewing before just before tax time. This means you would be able to claim these expenses when you lodge your tax return in July, helping to maximise your tax return.

This might include: union fees, professional licences and accreditations, working with children checks or other subscriptions relating to your work. 

Keep in mind: 

  • Your expense must be related to your current employment. 
  • You should keep a copy of your receipt or other evidence of the costs you’ve incurred. 
  • There may be specific ATO requirements for claiming your expense, depending on the type of membership or accreditation fee you are claiming. 

4. Ask about a Tax Refund Advance

A different way you could maximise your tax return is through a Tax Refund Advance.

Beforepay currently offers a Tax Refund Advance in partnership with H&R Block

The Tax Refund Advance allows eligible H&R Block customers to advance a portion of their estimated tax refund early for only a 5% fixed fee. This means access to your refund in minutes, instead of weeks! 

Keep in mind: 

  • You must lodge your tax return with H&R Block and meet the eligibility and assessment criteria for both H&R Block and Beforepay to be eligible for a Tax Refund Advance. 
  • If eligible, the Tax Refund Advance allows you to Cash Out up to 50% of your estimated tax refund, up to a maximum of $1,000. 
  • H&R Block will repay your Tax Refund on your behalf when they receive your tax refund from the ATO. 

Book an appointment with your nearest participating H&R Block office and ask about the Tax Refund Advance today!  PLUS if you're a Beforepay customer you could get 15%^ off your individual tax return filing fee when you lodge your individual tax return with H&R Block. What better way to get the most out of tax time! This is a limited time offer for Beforepay customers only, valid until 31 October 2024.

5. Make a tax-deductible donation

You could consider giving back to the community and supporting a cause that’s important to you by making a donation before the end of the financial year. This will allow you to claim any deductions for gifts or donations when you lodge your tax return from July 1. 

You can claim gifts or donations in the form of money or property or shares, but you can’t claim gifts or donations that “provide you with a personal benefit”, according to the ATO. This includes items such as raffle tickets or fundraising merchandise. 

Keep in mind: 

  • Your donation must be over $2. 
  • Your donation must be made to an organisation with DGR status, which means they are registered to receive tax deductible gifts or donations. 
  • You must keep a record of your donation as evidence of your claim, like a receipt. 

6. Do your stationery shop

Consider taking advantage of EOFY sales to stock up on the stationery and office supplies you need for work purposes to maximise your tax return. 

This can include items from pens, paper and diaries to printer ink and logbooks (e.g. to keep a record of your vehicle expenses if you use your personal vehicle for work, such as travelling between workplace sites or business meetings). 

Keep in mind: 

  • Your stationery expenses must be used for work purposes. 
  • As of February 2023, if you claim your stationery expenses as part of your working from home deductions you cannot submit a separate claim for stationery and office supplies. 
  • How you claim your stationery and office expenses changes if the total cost is more than $300. You can find out more details and calculate your deduction on the ATO website.

7. Top up your super fund

You may be able to claim a tax deduction for any personal contributions you make to your super fund. This is a separate voluntary payment from your bank account into your super fund, and does not include any contributions made by your employer. 

Keep in mind: 

  • You need to notify your super fund that you intend to claim a personal contribution and this must be acknowledged by them. 
  • You must meet the eligibility criteria for claiming a personal super contribution deduction. 
  • Any personal super contributions will count towards your concessional contributions cap

Claiming a tax deduction for a personal super contribution can be complicated so make sure you check the ATO website for details or speak to a tax expert. 

Knowing about the different ways you could maximise your tax return could help you get more out of tax time and, potentially, unlock some fast cash. By understanding your options, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your finances, keeping you in control of your money! 

Want to know what specific expenses you might be able to claim based on your job and industry? Check out our blog here

Remember, everyone’s financial circumstances are different. For advice about your financial situation or specific information about lodging your tax return please speak to a tax expert or other finance professional. 

Disclaimer: Beforepay Group Ltd ABN: 63 633 925 505 (Beforepay) allows eligible customers to access their pay and/or access their tax refund, and also provides budgeting tools. The views provided in this article include factual information and the personal opinions of relevant Beforepay staff. This article contains selected summary information only and is provided for general information purposes only. Beforepay and its related bodies corporate make no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of the contents of this blog post and do not accept any liability for any loss whatsoever arising from the use of this information. Please read our Terms of Service carefully before deciding whether to use any of our services.

^15% discount on the cost of having their tax return prepared. Offer only available at participating offices. Not eligible with and other offer. Can Not be used in conjunction with the $99 Streamline Package Price Point. Can Not be used in conjunction with the $79 Student Pricing.  Offer valid from 01 July 2024 to 31 October 2024.