Digital shoeboxes speed up tax returns
TENS of thousands of Australians are doing away with tucking their receipts into a shoebox and instead are opting to store them digitally.
This is helping speed up filing tax returns because all the relevant information is already uploaded to one place.
The digital shoebox is booming in popularity. Australian Taxation Office figures found that in the first two weeks of July, about 25,600 Australians uploaded their deduction information using the ATO’s app.
The myDeductions tab on the app can be used to take photos of receipts and note relevant information relating to expenses.
ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat said it had made it easier than ever to keep tax information in one place and remove the worry of misplacing paperwork.
“On the app you can store a photo of the receipt and details of the deduction you want to claim,” she said.
“You don’t have to go into your return and upload all the deduction details in your tax return. If you are using the myDeductions app you can sync all that information up and that will be in your return for you.”
Ms Foat said it was a great place to store all your receipts in case the ATO “comes knocking”.
“The (traditional) shoebox is a really dangerous way of keeping all your records. Receipts fade, and it’s pretty easy while you are on the go throughout the year to snap a photo of that receipt and store it somewhere more secure,” she said.
The Tax Institute’s tax counsel, Stephanie Caredes, said storing receipts digitally was the equivalent to having a “21st century digital shoebox”.
This reduces the chance of misplacing receipts for claimable items or being disorganised when you do come to file your return.
“Even having something as simple as having a folder in your email where you throw in your relevant receipts and other documents relevant to your tax return is a good way to go,” Ms Caredes said.
“If you have it all in one place, it’s all handy when you sit down to do your return and you won’t forget anything.”
Gather everything, including your bank statements, dividend statements and rental property expenses, and keep them in one digital file on your home computer.
TAX TIPS: The Tax Institute’s tax counsel, Stephanie Caredes, says storing receipts digitally is easy.