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We’ve made it easy for you.

Here’s our Tax Return Checklist to make sure you don’t miss out on any deductions this tax time.

Before you continue on...

Here are 3 critical tips that will help us help you maximise your tax deductions.

Last Year's Return

Having a copy of prior year's returns will help us immensely when setting up your tax return for success. So make sure you've got a copy of this ready.

Electronic Copy Required

We will be submitting your tax return electrically in conjunction with the ATO Portal hence all documents are required to be digital.

Create a folder

For an easy submission, we strongly recommend you to set up a folder in your computer, laptop or even your Google Drive and save all the applicable documents in there.

Tax Return Document Checklist

Some of the documents below might not be applicable to you.


  • Copy of prior year return
  • Bank details: Bank institution, account name, number and BSB (for refund purposes)


  • Payment Summaries and Income Statements
  • Distributions from unit trusts
  • Dividend statements (including any dividend reinvestment plan or share buyback details)
  • Interest summary (Bank / financial institution statements)
  • Managed funds statements
  • Partnership distribution statement
  • Statement of eligible termination payments (or any rollover payment notification)
  • Statement of Government social security pensions or allowance income streams
  • Statement of income received in respect of life insurance policies and friendly society bonds
  • Trust distribution statements


  • Spouse Details including taxable income and exempt income
  • Private health insurance statement and Medicare entitlement statements
  • PAYG Installments paid


  • Moto vehicle expenses and travel-related expenses (including logbook and invoices if required)
  • Professional memberships, union fees and registrations
  • Receipts and invoices for work-related expenses (e.g. subscriptions, protective clothing, safety boots, employer uniforms, tools of trade, self-education costs, working from home costs/logs – telephone, computer, internet etc.)
  • Insurance policies (including any income protection insurance premiums)
  • Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions
  • Donations to charities or building funds
  • Cost of managing tax affairs (tax agent fees)


You might need a set of the applicable documents for each property.

  • Rental statement annual summary (including any agent’s commission and details of the date the property was rented during the income year)
  • Investment Property Bank statements (including any issued by a building society or credit union)
  • Investment Property Purchase contract (first 4 pages), statement of adjustment (settlement statement) and purchase costs (stamp duty, Solicitor/Conveyancer fees etc)
  • Copies of invoices for rental expenses (e.g. advertising costs, body corporate fees, borrowing expenses, capital works (including any quantity surveyor’s depreciation report), cleaning costs, depreciation schedule (e.g. BMT), gardening & maintenance expenses, insurance, interest, land tax, legal fees, property agent fees, rates, stationery & security costs)
  • Copies of contract notes relating to the disposal of CGT assets including Property, shares and units
  • CGT statement (or details of any asset sales during the year including dates of acquisition and disposal, cost base items and capital proceeds)

Note: If you’d like a Tax Depreciation Schedule done for your investment property, Empower Wealth has a discount code that you can use with BMT Tax Depreciation Specialists. Get access to the code and application form here.


Our Process

If you’re keen to understand the full Tax and Personal Accounting process, we’ve put together an information page that details our holistic approach to your tax return journey.

Learn more here >>

Deductions and Substantiation Rules:

The following are the substantiation rules that you should be aware of. Under self assessment, you are responsible from making sure your tax return meets the substantiation requirements. Usually a receipt is required showing the item purchased, the amount, the date and the name of the supplier is required to claim a tax deduction for a work-related expense. Many of the following expenses, where there is a portion of private use, require a one month diary or similar record and private use may need to be apportioned.
If you'd like a full list of deductions, here's a direct link to the ATO page.

Additional Info


  • Laundry

    You can claim 50 cents per mixed load and $1 per full load of qualifying uniforms or protective clothing, up to $150 per year. Simply take your average loads per week and multiply it by the number of weeks you worked.

  • Less Than $300

    If you claim less than $300 in work related expenses such as self education, tools, uniforms, protective items, stationery, union fees, etc you do not need to substantiate your claim with receipts. Any claim you make for motor vehicle expenses or travel costs (includes tolls and parking) is not counted towards the $300 limit.

  • Less Than $10

    If each individual expense is less than $10 and the total of all such expenses does not exceed $200 you do not need to keep a receipt but must have a diary entry showing the name of the supplier, date, amount and a description of the purchase. This also applies when you can’t get a receipt such as parking meters.

  • Allowances

    Each year the ATO produces a list of what it considers reasonable travel allowances. If your employer pays you an allowance and you do not claim more than the amount listed by the ATO as reasonable you do not have to substantiate with receipts. Though the onus of proof is so onerous that we recommend you keep the receipts so that rather than relying on the ATO discretion you can rely on the legislation. If you are relying on the allowance concessions the ATO will only allow you to claim for certain meals eaten at certain times and if you miss that time a catch up meal can’t be claimed. They also expect you to show credit card entries to prove that you where the one who actually paid for the meal and a diary with the details of you trip. If you are away from home for more than 5 nights you will need to keep a travel diary anyway. The ATO releases what it considers a reasonable overtime meal allowance each year. If you choose to rely on the reasonable allowance concession you can claim up to this amount even if your employer pays you less but you must be paid the allowance under an award. Whereas if you keep a receipt, doesn’t matter how much it is you can claim it. AAT recently accepted the ATO’s opinion that to qualify to deduct the cost of a meal against your overtime meal allowance you must buy and consume the overtime meal while at work. This now means you can’t buy the meal on your way home and claim it. Consider maybe buying something at lunch time to consume while working overtime, don’t forget to keep a receipt just in case.

  • Home

    The ATO allows you 52 cents per hour for every hour you are working at home. This covers electricity and maintenance on the room. Keep the diary for 1 month. Due to COVID you have the option of increasing this to 80 cents an hour and covers expense claims for your phone, internet, stationary, computer, printer etc.

  • Motor Vehicle

    By keeping a diary for one month each year you can claim up to 5,000 kilometres per vehicle you own. If you own a car together with another person and it is only their name on the registration papers they can complete a declaration of joint ownership so you can claim it. You are also considered to be the owner of a car even if it is registered in the name of another family member but you are the one who pays all the expenses relating to it.

  • Telephone

    To claim STD and mobile calls from your home phone go through one month’s itemised account and work out the numbers that are work related. This percentage of work related calls can be applied to the mobile and STD calls in the other months. Local calls can be apportioned by keeping a diary for one month noting the ratio of private to work related local calls. Line rental can also be apportioned.

    If you need to use your mobile for work and haven’t kept records you can claim a flat $50 without records.

  • Work related Travel

    Wage earners can claim their motor vehicle expenses when they meet the substantiation requirements and they travel as follows:

    1) Bulky Equipment – Home to work travel is claimable if there is no safe storage at work and as a result you transport bulky equipment between home and work.  Safe storage is defined as similar to your own personal locker.  Therefore, a container on a building site to which all and sundry has a key is not safe storage.

    2) Abnormal workplace, this is defined in ATO material as:

    From your normal workplace to an alternative workplace – for example, a client’s premises – while still on duty and back to your normal workplace or directly home.  From your home to an alternative workplace for work purposes and then to your normal workplace or directly home.

    This includes being sent to another branch or shop to relieve providing you were not employed predominantly to relieve.  It covers seminars and visits to customers.  It also includes work related tasks performed on the way home or to work but, note the task cannot be insignificant such as dropping off the mail.  But if you must travel out of your way to drop off the mail you can claim for this extra distance. For more refer TD 96/42 & TD 96/43.

    3) Between Jobs – note this includes travel from home when home is the base of operations or work begins there.  Home can be considered a base of employment if employment related duties have begun before leaving there, providing those employment related duties did not begin merely for your convenience.  Working from home during COVID does not make it your base of operations.

    4)  Itinerant work – Your job involves travelling to more than one place of work before you return home.  In the case of itinerancy you not only get travel between those places of work but also between home and the first and last place of work.  Carers are a good example.


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