Somehow, another financial year is almost upon us — they roll around so quickly, don’t they?! With tax time coming, it’s time to get your finances in shipshape to make things easier for you, your accountant (if you have one), and the tax office. What is it they say? Happy tax office, happy life? Go with it.
Here’s how to get organized for the end of the fiscal year.
Review your transactions with a fine-tooth comb to ensure you’ve not missed any potential deductions. Depending on what you do for work or if you have a side hustle, anything from uniforms to rideshare trips could be deductible expenses that you’ve already purchased.
You can keep track of your deductions by labeling them in PocketSmith when you do your transaction review. It’s particularly handy if you’re only labeling a percentage of an expense as a work-related cost — you still get the category visibility of the full expense, but the label allows you to keep track of the amount you’re filing on your tax return.
The end of the financial year is a good time to make work or business-related expenses, as you’re able to claim the deduction sooner. If you’ve been meaning to make any purchases or renew any memberships or subscriptions, plan to get these done before the new fiscal year, so you can include them on this year’s tax return.
It’s a great time to pay up for annual renewals, too, as you can maximize your deduction in the current financial year. Going forward, use PocketSmith’s calendar tool to remind yourself when your renewals are due.
Many of us are working from home more than ever before — and in many cases, you can claim a deduction for the costs associated with your home office. Check in with the tax law in your country to find out what’s claimable and what’s not. Then, get clear on the hours and items you’re claiming for, so you’re ready to go when tax time ticks over.
In an ideal world, we’d keep track of our proof of purchases as we go. But we all know life happens. If you’ve got receipts or invoices you need to chase down in order to substantiate your deductions, start locating them early to reduce stress at tax time. Go through your emails or contact retailers or suppliers to locate those all-important receipts to avoid missing out on valuable claims.
When you locate them, you can attach receipts and invoices to individual transactions in PocketSmith using the Attachments feature. Get into the habit of uploading receipts at the time of purchase to make this easier next year!
Deducting expenses is great, but only if you’re actually using the thing you’re paying for. The end of the financial year is a great time to review memberships and subscriptions to make sure you’re still getting the use out of the things you’re paying for each month. Cancel any unused subscriptions to free up extra cash flow.
Been skipping out on donations to the charities you care about? The end of the fiscal year is a great time to give back and claim back, if you’re making tax-deductible donations. Remember to check the deductible status of the charities you’re donating to if you do want to claim and keep a record of your payments ready for when you file your taxes.
In some cases, making additional contributions to your retirement savings could be tax-deductible. It’s worth checking in with your provider and deciding whether you want to make any extra contributions before the end of the financial year. Plus, some countries and retirement savings plans require you to notify them that you’ll be claiming a tax deduction, so get that ticked off as soon as you can.
If you have a business or side hustle, getting prepped for tax time might mean exporting and compiling reports on your income, expenses, assets, liabilities, sales and revenue. Get on top of these early and complete as much of the legwork as you can in advance, to reduce stress around peak periods. Make sure your inputs are up to date ready for that all-important export at the turn of the fiscal year.
If you work with an accountant for your personal and/or business taxes, touch base with them ahead of tax time to get clear on what they need from you. You can also share your PocketSmith dashboard with them so they can see your transactions and deductions in clear view.
If you’re not yet a PocketSmith user, the new financial year is a great time to give your financial management system an overhaul. Try it today and discover how PocketSmith can make the next financial year a breeze.
Emma Edwards is a finance copywriter and blogger, on a mission to humanize the financial services industry by creating meaningful content that’s accessible and empowering. You’ll find her penning money tips at her blog, The Broke Generation, sharing financial insights on Instagram, or injecting life into content for her business clients.