It is tax time yet again and let’s face it, it is stressful, daunting and a little bit scary. If you’re currently drowning in documents with shoeboxes full of faded receipts that you can’t even read any more, it’s time to give these five tips on tax compliance software a try:
1. Get digital
When a sales payment or bill charge shows up on your bank statement, what do you do? Do you manually transcribe it into a spreadsheet somewhere, or worse, forget about it? With online accounting software you can instantly pull your bank transactions in. This makes it super easy to track expenses that you might otherwise overlook, such as a taxi fare or stationery you purchased.
This saves you from expensive errors, as well as ensuring you have the maximum deductions to claim against your tax.
2. Sign up with the ATO
Anyone with an ABN can register for the ATO’s business portal. Once you have an AUSkey security pass you can do a variety of tasks here, from viewing your account information, lodging activity statements and some other reports, and updating your business registration details.
This means you have the time to do more work on your core business, and can be sure that you are properly registered and compliant, avoiding costly fines.
3. Lodge your tax online
If you’ve used professional small business accounting software, your accounts should already be in great order enabling you to fix up your tax return quickly and accurately. Lodging your tax online is the next logical step. Sole traders running their own business can prepare and lodge their individual tax return online via e-Tax.
Pre-filling tax information directly into a return saves you a world of woe and possible mistakes, and it’s also easier to meet tax obligations and claim entitlements.
4. Be mobile
The Australian Taxation Office has an app that allows individual taxpayers, small business owners and self-managed super fund trustees to access tax and super information in one place (for Windows, Apple and Android smartphones).
This means you can conduct your affairs on the go, so you don’t have to waste time waiting until you’re back in the office. If you’re on the road or in the field and have a spare half hour, you can now use it productively and enjoy a bit more leisure time in the evening.
5. Go electronic
Lodging large files is always a pain. It costs time and money to print out documents and mail them to the right addresses, not always knowing when or if they arrived. Using the ATO’s electronic commerce interface (ECI) you can lodge bulk files such as employee share scheme annual reports and first home saver account information.
This means no stuffing envelopes and long queues and expense at the post office, with these handy tricks your tax is as good as sorted.
Using software to help with tax compliance can really deliver results to your business. Not only will your accounts be more accurate and efficient, but you’ll have far less stress and far more time on your hands. Which means you can get back to doing what you enjoy and what will help build your business, rather than wasting hours and energy on paperwork.
To learn more about the importance of technology for your business, download our free ebook ‘Keeping on top of compliance – Why your business accounts should be online’.