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Tax return checklist: All the documents you need

As well as the basics like your Tax File Number and income details, here's a list of documents you need to have ready when lodging your tax return.

Use our checklist and make sure you aren't forgetting anything that could you cost you money or land you in trouble with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Here's a snapshot of what the checklist will include:

1. The basics: This includes your Tax File Number (TFN) and income statement among other things

2. Your earnings: This includes your annual payment summaries, lump sum payments received, investment income and other earnings

3. Deductions. Details of work-related expenses you wish to claim, receipts and and capital losses

Now let's go into more detail on each of these points.

Tax return checklist: Documents you'll need

Here we've compiled a tax return checklist of some pre-return information you might need to get together:

Basics

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Bank details: BSB, account number, account holder name, bank name
  • For medical expenses you will also need your Medicare number
  • Details of children and spouse
  • Last year's Income Tax Assessment

Earnings

  • Payment summaries (PAYG) from any places where you have received an income
  • Information on any lump-sum payments you may have received, potentially through termination payments or Centrelink.
  • Details on foreign earnings
  • Any interest received from banks or building societies
  • Statements of dividends received or invested
  • Statements on earnings from managed funds
  • Any other income gained, i.e. from rental properties
  • Statements of capital losses or gains made by selling investments
  • If you have a spouse you will need details on their earnings and expenses

Deductions

  • Receipts for gifts and donations
  • Receipts for work-related expenses including transport (mileage), uniforms, technology necessary for your work
  • If self-employed, contributions to superannuation
  • Details about your income protection insurance
  • Costs for managing tax calculations, i.e. tax agents
  • Medical receipts
  • Details of any capital losses you wish to offset
  • Super contributions you wish to claim as a deduction

Yes indeed, tax returns are tedious. But perhaps you have been squirrelling away your receipts all year, and can combine these with the docs mentioned in our tax return checklist above to make it a breezy, stress-easy affair.

Finder survey: Which Australians think they pay too much tax?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
No78.57%59.15%39.38%29.24%20.88%20.56%38.46%
Yes21.43%40.85%60.63%70.76%79.12%79.44%61.54%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1004 Australians, December 2023

The latest in tax-return

DISCLAIMER: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information applicability to their own particular circumstances.


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Publisher

Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs. See full bio

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Editor

Alison Banney is the money editorial manager at Finder. She covers all areas of personal finance, and her areas of expertise are superannuation, banking and saving. She has written about finance for 10 years, having previously worked at Westpac and written for several other major banks and super funds. See full bio

Alison's expertise
Alison has written 656 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Superannuation
  • Savings accounts, bank accounts and term deposits
  • Budgeting and money-saving hacks
  • Managing the cost of living

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