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With a possible refund in site, bank statements can hold the key to tax savings. Find out why from your industry super fund-owned bank ME.

It’s tax time again which means working out what you can legitimately claim to maximise your refund. That’s where bank statements can offer vital clues.

Key pieces of the puzzle

Bank statements show two key pieces of information that the tax man is looking out for – income we have earned, and expenses paid in earning that income, and reviewing your bank statements can trigger a recall of both pieces of data.

Add in interest income

Plenty of us supplement our income through interest on cash deposits. Your bank statements will show what your savings have earned in interest so make sure not to omit interest earned because it could see you receive a ‘please explain’ from the tax man.

Don’t overlook deductions

Now on to deductible expenses. If you run a home office you may be able to claim a proportion of power and phone bills. Check through bank statements for payments made to electricity companies or telcos.

If you’re able to claim the cost of motor vehicle expenses, your bank statements may show payments for fuel, annual registration, vehicle servicing and insurance costs. It all adds up. You will need receipts from suppliers but bank statements can be an excellent memory jogger.

Seek advice from a registered tax agent

Rather than taking a punt on tax claims, it’s worth seeking professional tax advice.

A registered tax agent can guide you through all your legitimate deductions. If you can’t afford a tax agent, contact the Tax Office about Tax Help – assistance from trained volunteers offering help with your tax return. Contact the Tax Office on 13 28 61 for details.

Remember, you may need to hold on to tax records for at least five years. Store your bank statements carefully in case the tax man puts your tax return under the spotlight.

This article was brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au

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