Ride Sharing laws – UBER and Taxi

Do I have to declare income from Centrelink (Newstart, Austudy) on my tax return?
These days most of the details are on the prefill report but without relying on it 100% it must be declared. This is because the tax office needs to determine what tax rate applies to your other earnings for the year. At the end of the financial year you will receive a payment summary from Centrelink indicating how much must be included in your tax return (taxable amount). You may be entitled to a rebate to ensure that no tax is payable on your benefit.

Can all the interest from our joint accounts be declared in my wife's tax return because her income is much lower than mine?
All income must be declared by each recipient on the same basis as the accounts are held. You cannot declare it all on your wife's tax return.

I have shares and received franked dividends this year but I have reinvested them via DRP. Do I have to declare this?
Yes you have to - you must declare all the dividends regardless of what has been done to that income.

I have just received a letter from the tax office saying that I did not declare some interest from my bank account. What should I do?
Contact your bank to verify the income details for your accounts if you believe that this is incorrect. The bank should notify the tax office in writing if this information is not correct. You have 28 days to correct this information. However, if you have omitted the income you will not need to contact the ATO. They will amend your return and send you a new assessment requesting payment of the additional tax, a general interest charge and, in some cases, penalties. Make sure you declare all the interest income earned in Australia as well as overseas.

Do I need to declare my overseas pension?
In most cases overseas pensions are taxable and if you are an Australian resident you will need to include the amount in your tax return. However there are some exceptions to this rules you should contact our office for more information as your situation might be different to others.

I have just moved permanently to Australia and I have brought lot of money to buy house and other things in Australia, Do I have to pay tax on the money that I have brought with me?
You will only have to pay tax on any earnings that you make from the time that you moved to Australia. If the money that you brought with you earns interest in a bank account you will have to pay tax on the interest. However, if you are still earning any rental income overseas than that income must be declared.

Will I be penalized for lodging my return late?
ATO has started taking harsh steps towards defaulters which include penalties and garnishee. You may receive a fine or interest penalty charge from the ATO if you lodge your tax return late and also late BAS lodgments. However, you can contact us should you receive these penalties and we will try to get it waived and will get you back on track with all the lodgments up to date.

How much can I claim if I buy a laptop/computer?
Have you been told by your friends that they claimed laptop and got all the tax back - they are probably not telling you the truth. If you purchase a laptop/computer for use in your work or business, you can generally claim a percentage of the depreciation that pertains to your work or business use. Since Laptop is capital in nature you cannot deduct the full amount you depreciate it for a period of time. The depreciation allowed will depend on the expected life of the laptop/ computer or how long it is expected to be current.

How much can I claim on my motor vehicle?
There are different methods for claiming expenses in relation to the business use of your motor vehicle however Set Rate method is the most convenient and easy to maintain type. You need to maintain a log book if you have used your car for more than 5000km and this log book has to be maintained for at least 3 months in a year.

How much can I claim for my wife and my children?
Centre link - which is the part of Family Assistance Office does claims on wife and children .The amount you can claim will depend on the income levels of you and your individual family members, the age of your children and any amount already received through payments. FTB part A and part B is given to the qualifying parents along with the child care benefits and other parenting allowances. Both FTB A and B are tax free and are means tested on the combine family income. Please visit www.centrelink.gov.au for more details.

Can I claim my work uniform as a tax deduction?
Deductions for uniforms can only be claimed if the work uniform is specific and identifiable to your organization (such as chef's checked pants) or protects you from injury whilst you are at work. You can't claim the cost of a plain uniform or conventional clothing, such as white shirt and black pants or skirt which is commonly worn by waiters and waitresses, even if your employer tells you to wear them.

What deductions can I claim if I'm studying - self education expenses?
Your current employment and the course you undertake must have sufficient connection for your self-education expenses to qualify as a work-related tax deduction. If a course of study is too general in terms of your current income-earning activities, the necessary connection between the self-education expense and your income-earning activity does not exist. A tax deduction for your self-education expenses related to your work as an employee is available if you work and study at the same time and can satisfy any of these conditions:

  1. You are upgrading your qualifications for your current employment.
  2. You are improving specific skills or knowledge used in your current employment.
  3. You are employed as a trainee and you are undertaking a course that forms part of that traineeship.
  4. You can show that at the time you were working and studying, your course led, or was likely to lead, to an increase in employment income.


How about the laundry and washing expenses incurred by me in respect of my compulsory work uniform?
You can claim the laundry and washing expenses of your uniform as Work Related Clothing Expenses in your tax return, but if the total claim exceeds $150, you shall produce written evidence proving the same.

When will I be liable to pay Medicare Levy Surcharge? Is there anything I can do for not paying the same?
The Medicare levy surcharge is in addition to the Medicare levy. The Medicare levy surcharge is a levy that applies to you if you or your dependents did not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover for the whole of the income year, and your income is above the surcharge threshold. The thresholds for the 2010-11 income years are:

  1. $77,000 if you are a single person with no dependent children.
  2. $154,000 if you are part of one of the following
    • a family (including a couple) with or without dependent children
    • a single parent family.


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