Individual Tax Return Checklist

    The following income tax return checklist should be completed in conjunction with the preparation of tax reconciliation return work papers. The checklist provides a general list of major issues that should be addressed. (The checklist is not designed to be an exhaustive list of all issues that may warrant consideration.)

Step 1    Obtain a copy of the Prior Year Return including all work papers and assessment notice.
Step 2    Confirm that the front cover of Prior Year Return has not altered, including bank account details.
Step 3    Complete the Checklist.

Instructions : Where relevant, double-click on the check boxes and select “Checked”

Section of the Income Tax Return


YesNoN/A
Obtain and attach PAYG payment summaries and if applicable paid parental leave payments.
Salary or wage Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Allowances, earnings, tips, director’s fees etc.
Allowances And Earnings Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
These payments are in respect of unused annual and long service leave paid out on termination of employment. Label A and B of the client’s PAYG payment summary should contain the relevant information. Also, obtain and attach a copy of a statement of termination from the client’s employer.
Employer lump sum payments Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Obtain and attach any ETP payment summaries and employer termination statements.
Employment termination payments Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Provide details of all youth allowances, Newstart, sickness allowance or special benefit, or other educational or training allowances. (Note : client not sent a paper copy anymore)
Australian Government allowances upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
(Note: clients are no longer sent paper copies)
Australian Government pensions upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Obtain details of taxable and rebatable components of pension.
Annuities and Superannuation Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Superannuation lump sums paid from a taxed source to a person aged 60 or over are tax free. Lump sums paid to persons under 60 are still taxable. Obtain details of recipient’s age and amount of the lump sum payment
Superannuation lump sum payments Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt html pdf doc docx xls xlsx xml.
YesNoN/A
Obtain all payment summaries – personal services attributed income and details of any other personal services attributed to the taxpayer.
Attributed personal services income Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: consider application of the personal services income (PSI) attribution rules in relation to any income derived by an interposed entity that is personal services income (PSI) of the individual. (PSI is included in the individual’s personal income tax return. PSI is income that is mainly a reward for an individual’s personal efforts or skills).
YesNoN/A
Interest that is received or credited in a year is taxable. Care should be taken to gross interest up where TFN withholding tax has been deducted.
Gross interest Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Unfranked, partly franked and fully franked dividends are assessable for taxation purposes.
Dividends upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Tax tip: where a reinvestment program has been entered into, the value of that dividend reinvestment is taxable. Carefully consider the taxation implications of bonus share issues to individuals. Also check for withholding tax deducted
YesNoN/A
The discount given on the ‘ESS interest’ (being a share or a right to acquire a share) under the ESS is assessable for taxation purposes unless the deferral concession applies
Employee share schemes Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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This assessable discount may be reduced by $1,000 where certain conditions apply. Where certain conditions are met in relation to the terms of the ESS the assessable discount may be deferred until a later income year. Note: for interests acquired pre 1 July 2009 the discount is included in the 2017 income tax return if the ‘cessation time’ occurred during the 2017 income year.
YesNoN/A
Details of the partnership, trust or a managed investment trust fund payment and type of income received are required. Carefully identify tax credits that may be utilised.
Partnerships and trusts upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: trustees of closely held trusts are required to withhold amounts from distributions to individual beneficiaries who have not provided their TFN. Beneficiaries who have had amounts withheld from their trust distributions can claim a credit under this label.

Supplement Income or Loss


YesNoN/A
Partnerships and Trusts part 2 options
Partnerships and Trusts part 2 upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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From 2016-17, an individual is entitled to a tax offset (max $1,000) of 8% of the tax payable on the portion of their income that is: • net small business income from sole trading activities • share of net small business income from a partnership or trust • other amounts received because the individual is a partner or beneficiary in a small business entity, such as farm management repayments. The ATO will work out the offset based on the total net small business income reported in the individual income tax return.Ensure details of partnership and trust share of net small business income less deductions attributable to that income are completed
YesNoN/A
Personal services income (PSI) options
Personal services income Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Is the client a sole trader? If yes, ask the client if they received personal services incomeand did not have a Personal Services Business Determination in place. If this is the case then the Business and Professional items section should be completed. Note: there are special rules for the tax treatment of personal services income earned by sole traders including contractors and consultants. Reference should be had to the ATO publication Business and professional items2017 before completing this section.
YesNoN/A
Net income or loss from business options
Net income or loss from business Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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If the taxpayer derived income from any business (other than the personal services income included at item 14), complete and attach a business and professional items schedule. Note to determine the component that is net small business income (excluding corporate distributions) so that the ATO can calculate the small business tax offset.
YesNoN/A
Deferred non-commercial business losses options
Deferred non-commercial business losses Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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This item relates to losses made from activities that constitute carrying on a business (e.g. sole trader or partnership). If applicable, complete item P9 in the business and professional items schedule. Note: for a loss to be claimed in the current period, the client must either operate a primary production or professional arts business (subject to a $40,000 limit on other source income) or meet one of the four exemption tests, or have the Commissioner exercise his discretion to allow the loss. Note: taxpayers who have not received the Commissioner’s discretion (to not have the Non-Commercial Business Loss rules apply) that have adjusted taxable income over $250,000 will only be able to deduct expenses from non-commercial business activities against income from those activities (i.e. this means any resultant losses will be quarantined to the business activity and cannot be deducted against other taxable income).
YesNoN/A
This item is for primary producers only.
Net farm management deposits or repayments Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: ensure that amounts that make up the net farm management deposits or repayments (e.g. deductible deposits, early repayments for natural disaster) are disclosed in labels D, N or R. Note : This item may be negative
YesNoN/A
Capital gains options
Capital gains Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Obtain a description of the asset, the purchase date, the purchase cost, date and amount of any expenditure incurred by the taxpayer that forms part of the asset’s cost base including eligible incidental costs, the sale date (or exchange of contract date if earlier) and the sale proceeds amount. Take account of 50% CGT discount and the small business CGT concessions. Tax tip: capital losses are applied against gross capital gains before the 50% discount and/or small business concessions are applied. Note: foreign resident individuals that make capital gains in relation to CGT events that occur after 7:30 pm on 8 May 2012 are not able to discount the gain that “accrues” after this time. This means that a foreign resident will now need to calculate the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ 8 May 2012 portions of their capital gain. This is because the ‘pre-8 May 2012’ portion can continue to be discounted but the ‘post 8 May 2012’ portion is ineligible Note:Foreign residents who have had Foreign resident capital gains withholding withheld from them during the year are entitled to claim a credit for those amounts paid to the Commissioner by the withholder. This amount is shown at label X in the return.
YesNoN/A
Include here any attributable income in relation to any controlled foreign company or transferor trust.
Foreign entities Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Obtain details of country, amount received, exchange rate utilised, foreign tax withheld. Care must be shown with foreign source salary and wage income that may be exempt from tax.
Foreign source income and foreign assets or property Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt html pdf doc docx xls xlsx xml.
Note: income derived from foreign service lasting greater than 91 consecutive days is not exempt unless the employment is related to specific activities e.g. deployment by the Australian Defence Force or Australian Federal Police, or working for certain aid organisations.
Obtain details of: rental income earned interest charged on money borrowed for the rental property details of other expenses relating to the rental property details of any capital works expenditure to the rental property. Borrowing costs are claimed over the life of the loan or five years, whichever is the lesser. Assess whether the client can claim a deduction for the construction costs of the property, or any structural improvements.
YesNoN/A
Rent options
Rent Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Bonuses from life companies and friendly societies Options
Bonuses from life companies and friendly societies Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Obtain documentation regarding bonuses received on insurance bonds issued by life insurers and friendly societies. Bonuses are tax free if cashed in after 10 years. If not, the bonuses may be taxable and a rebate can be claimed.
YesNoN/A
Have managers of forestry schemes included the investors’ contributions in their assessable income in the year in which the deduction is first available to the investor for those contributions?
Forestry managed investment scheme income Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Other income options
Other income Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Ask the client whether they received any other benefit / income during the year that has not been discussed. Examples include:

  • a non-qualifying component of an ETP
  • lump sum payments in arrears
  • foreign exchange gains
  • royalties
  • certain scholarships, bursaries, grants
  • any assessable balancing adjustments on depreciating assets
  • jury service fees.
  • Income protection payments

Deductions


YesNoN/A
YesNoN/A
Low-value pool deduction options
Low-value pool deduction Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Cannot be claimed unless income at question 10.
Interest deductions Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Cannot be claimed unless income at question 11.
Dividend deductions Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Ensure that all donations are endorsed deductible gift recipients and that the client did not receive any tangible benefit from making the donation.
Gifts or donations Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Note: this also includes GIC and travel to tax agent.
Cost of managing tax affairs Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Supplement Deductions


YesNoN/A
Deductible amount of undeducted purchase Options
Deductible amount of undeducted purchase Upload
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YesNoN/A
Personal superannuation contributions options
Personal superannuation contributions upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Strict rules apply to when an employee can claim a tax deduction. A self-employed taxpayer may be able to claim all their contributions to a complying superannuation fund as fully tax deductible up to age 75, provided no more than 10% of their assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer superannuation contributions is attributable to their employment as an employee.
Ensure the superannuation fund provides acknowledgement of the claim for the deduction
Note: care should be exercised to avoid breaching the annual superannuation concessional contributions cap for the individual.
From 1 July 2017, the 10% maximum earnings condition will be removed. This means most people under 75 years old will be able to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions (including those aged 65 to 74 who meet the work test).

However, the individual may receive an offer from the Australian Taxation Office to have the excess concessional contributions refunded and assessed at their marginal tax rate, rather than pay excess contributions tax.
The Australian Taxation Office may also offer to have excess non concessional contributions refunded and earnings on the excess assessed at the individual’s marginal tax rate. Individuals who leave their excess non-concessional contributions in their superannuation fund will continue to be taxed on these contributions at the top marginal tax rate.

YesNoN/A
Relates to certain capital expenditure which is directly connected with a project carried on, or proposed to be carried on, to gain or produce assessable income (i.e. this expenditure can be allocated to a project pool and written off over the project life but the expenditure must not otherwise be deductible nor form part of the cost of a depreciating asset).
Deduction for project pool upload
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YesNoN/A
Forestry managed investment scheme deduction options
Forestry managed investment scheme deduction upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Initial investors in forestry managed investment schemes (forestry schemes) will receive a tax deduction equal to 100% of their contributions.
Subsequent investors will receive a tax deduction for their ongoing contributions to forestry schemes, provided that at least 70% of the scheme manager’s expenditure under the scheme is expenditure attributable to establishing, tending and felling trees for harvesting (direct forestry expenditure or DFE).

YesNoN/A
For example, black-hole expenditure, accident and sickness insurance premiums.
Other deductions upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note that s 40-880 allows for certain start-up expenses, including costs associated with raising capital to be immediately deductible where they are incurred by a small business entity.

Losses


YesNoN/A
Tax losses of earlier income years options
Tax losses of earlier income years upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Tax tip: a superannuation deduction cannot increase a carry forward loss. Ensure that there is a split between primary and non-primary production losses, where applicable.

Tax Offsets


YesNoN/A
Note the income test
Senior Australians and pensioners Upload
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YesNoN/A
Superannuation income stream options
Superannuation income stream upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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A tax offset for non-deductible superannuation contributions is available for certain low income employees. An offset can also be claimed in respect of certain annuity / pension payments.

Supplement Tax Offsets


YesNoN/A
Superannuation contributions on behalf of your spouse options
Superannuation contributions on behalf of your spouse upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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From 1 July 2017, the spouse income threshold will increase. Clients will be able to claim the maximum tax offset of $540 if they contributed to the eligible super fund of their spouse, whether married or de-facto,provided the spouse's income is $37,000 or less.
The tax offset amount will reduce for income above this amount and completely phases out when the spouse’s income reaches $40,000.

YesNoN/A
Zone, overseas forces or overseas civilian options
Zone, overseas forces or overseas civilian upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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If the client lived in a remote or isolated area of Australia, served overseas as a member of Australia’s Defence Forces or served overseas as a civilian with UN armed forces, they may be eligible for this offset.
Note:Eligibility for the zone tax offset is based on the taxpayer’susual place of residence. If their usual place of residence was not in a zone, they are not eligible for the zone tax offset.

YesNoN/A
Tax offset on net medical expenses over the threshold amount Options
Tax offset on net medical expenses over the threshold amount upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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The offset is limited to medical expenses that relate to disability aids, attendant care or aged care expenses. Obtain details of gross qualifying medical expenses (and subtract related refunds the taxpayer received or is entitled to receive from Medicare or a private health fund).
The 20% offset may be available where the total of all the net medical expenses of a taxpayer (and dependents) exceeds $2,299.
For taxpayers with adjusted taxable income above $90,000 for singles, or $180,000 for families, a 10% offset may be available for net medical expenses of a taxpayer (and dependants) exceeding $5,423.

YesNoN/A
Tax offset only available where an invalid or carer of an invalid is maintained by the taxpayer and certain tests are satisfied
Invalid and invalid carer upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
30% tax offset for one third of eligible expenditure in lieu of deduction for eligible expenditure.
Landcare and water facility offset upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Early stage venture capital limited partnership options
Early stage venture capital limited partnership upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Client’s may be entitled to the ESVCLP tax offset if they contributed to an ESVCLP asa limited partner of the ESVCLP, oran investor through a partnership or a trust.

Refer to ESVCLP tax incentives and concessions to work out amount of the tax offset.

YesNoN/A
Early stage investor options
Early stage investor Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Clients may be entitled to this offset if they invested in a qualifying early stage innovation company in 2016–17. Refer to Qualifying for the tax incentives to work out the amount of the tax offset
YesNoN/A
Other non-refundable tax offsets Options
Other non-refundable tax offsets upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt html pdf doc docx xls xlsx xml.
YesNoN/A
Where client is a beneficiary of special disability trust or received exploration credits.
Other refundable tax offsets upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Available for low income individuals / families and other prescribed persons.
Medicare levy reduction or exemption upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Medicare levy surcharge options
Medicare levy surcharge Upload
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Applicable to individuals / families on higher incomes who do not have private patient hospital cover. Individuals and couples are liable to the surcharge when their “income for surcharge purposes” (i.e.: taxable income, reportable fringe benefits, reportable superannuation contributions and total net investment loss) exceeds $90,000 and $180,000 respectively (increased by $1,500 for each dependent child/student after the first). The surcharge is 1%, 1.25% or 1.5%, depending on the amount of income for surcharge purposes. 

Note: this item is compulsory

YesNoN/A
Private health insurance options
Private health insurance Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Obtain details of the client’s health fund and ascertain whether any rebate claimed via the fund or from Medicare before determining whether an offset can be claimed through the return.

·Note: the amount of the Private health insurance offset entitlement will vary depending on which income threshold tier the individual falls into – this is based on the individual’s income for surcharge purposes (either as a single or family) and their age.

·Annual rebate adjustment

The government has changed the way the private health insurance (PHI) rebate is calculated. From 1 April 2014, all rebate percentages are adjusted annually by a rebate adjustment factor.The rebate adjustment factor is a percentage of the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) and the average annual premium price increase. It is calculated by the Department of Health each year.

The adjusted rebate percentages are applied to premiums paid on or after 1 April. This means your rebate percentage for premiums paid (excluding LHC loading) before 1 April 2017 will be different to your rebate percentage on or after 1 April 2017.

The rebate percentage between 1 July and 31 March (period 1) is multiplied by the rebate adjustment factor to get the rebate percentage for the period of 1 April to 30 June (period 2). As a result, your rebate percentage for period 2 may be less than period 1

Adjustments


YesNoN/A
Special tax on unearned income of minors.
Under 18 Special tax upload
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YesNoN/A
Completed for taxpayers who were Australian residents for only part of the income year.
Part year tax free threshold Upload
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YesNoN/A
The labels are not compulsory disclosures. Note: non completion may lead to a reduced co-contribution payment.
Government super contributions Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
This applies to taxpayers from 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017, where the tax that applies has been reduced from 32.5% to 15% (the so-called “backpacker tax”.)
Backpackers on a 417 or 462 working holiday visa Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Relevant where a trust, company or partnership within a ‘family group’ has distributed to an entity outside the family group.
Amount on which family tax distribution tax has been paid upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Credit for interest on early payments – amount of interest.
Credit for interest on tax paid upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Income Tests


YesNoN/A
Total reportable fringe benefits options
Total reportable fringe benefits Upload
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Disregard any reportable fringe benefits that is less than $3,921.

If the employer is exempt from FBT under section 57A of the FBTAA, show the total at item N item.

If the employer is not exempt from FBT, showthe total at item W.

YesNoN/A
Disclose if your PAYG payment summaries show an amount of reportable employer superannuation contributions.
Reportable employer superannuation contributions Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Tax-free government pensions options
Tax-free government pensions Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: they are taken into account when working out your adjusted taxable income for eligibility to certain tax offsets.

YesNoN/A
Disclose if you have received income from sources outside Australia that is neither part of your taxable income nor a fringe benefit.
Target foreign income Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: show all foreign income in Australian dollars.

YesNoN/A
Disclose the loss amount by which your financial investment deductions exceeded your financial investment income.
Net financial investment loss Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: this item is not about capital losses.

Obtain account statements or other documentation from your financial institution or other sources that show your financial investment income or loss. If you are a partner in a partnership you will need a statement or advice showing the amount of net financial investment income or loss.

YesNoN/A
Disclose the rental property loss by which your rental deductions exceeded your rental income.
Net rental property loss Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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Note: you are still able to claim allowable tax deductions for expenditure on your rental properties.

YesNoN/A
Obtain records to work out the total amount of child support that you paid during the 2017 income year.
Child support you paid upload
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YesNoN/A
Number of dependent children Options
Number of dependent children Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
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YesNoN/A
Disclose all the 2017 income year information requested regarding your spouse (de facto or married). Tip: As there is certain information requested that relates to your spouse’s 2017 income tax return, you should prepare and finalise both returns in conjunction with each other in order to disclose accurate information.
Spouse Details – married or de facto Upload
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt html pdf doc docx xls xlsx xml.
Note: have you considered the ATO portal to check whether pre-filled information provided by the ATO in respect of payments and other details have been included in the preparation of the individual tax return?
Are you aware thateligible education and nursing/midwifery graduates, who graduate after 30 June 2009 and take up employment in these professions, may apply for the HECS‑HELP Benefit which reduces compulsory HELP debt repayments.
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