Tax time is the most dreaded of the year

KNOWS PITFALLS: Personal accountant Judy Caro talks about tax time.
KNOWS PITFALLS: Personal accountant Judy Caro talks about tax time. Claudia Baxter

THE end of the financial year signals a busy few months ahead for personal accountants like Judy Caro.

From July until October, Ms Caro will sift through the receipts, bills and records of hundreds of everyday taxpayers, who will no doubt be keen to get their mitts on a juicy refund as soon as possible.

While everyone loves the reward that can come at the end of tax time, few embrace the necessary record-gathering and form-filling that must precede the payout.

Ms Caro, from Harding Martin in Ipswich, said the most fundamental aspects of completing a tax return were often the things people overlooked. Something as simple as failing to update contact or address details could end up costing money.

Neglecting to tell the tax man about a partner's details is another area that can land people in hot water.

"Most people hate tax time and so they forget about it, but we see a lot clients who have to come back some time later because they have to go back and retrieve important documents or information that is essential for their return," Ms Caro said.

Bank interest is another area where the tax man is cracking down, with all tax returns requiring people to declare interest earned.

Ms Caro said estimating interest was a no-no, and that the only way to ensure the figures were correct was to obtain them from statements or contact the bank.

While there are some areas where deductions can be estimated to a reasonable amount, the majority of deduction claims will require records, receipts or other evidence to back them up.



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