Insider Tax Tips #5: What not to do

October 5, 2016

Queensland couldn’t be any further away from USA, but with so much happening in American politics we just couldn’t resist. Clinton really set the bar for the first debate – have you been following it? What was interesting to us is Trump’s almost 12 year old tax files were leaked. Reports claim Trump potentially hasn’t paid tax since 1995 due to major financial loss. Being tax professionals, Trump got us thinking about what not to do.

1. Don’t hide any income or losses
Whether or not Trump has something to hide, unlike other presidential candidates he hasn’t released his tax records to the public for transparency. None of us are going for president, but we do know transparency is important. The ATO can catch you out if your income or losses don’t add up so make sure you report everything.

2. Don’t leave it last minute
Trump is running out of time to make good on transparency before the election in November and so are you, come November 1st tax season is over. Don’t leave getting your tax return done to the last minute – find your nearest ITP office here.

3. Don’t put it off for years at a time
There is no advantage in putting things off. They will catch up with you in later years as Trump has clearly shown us. Even if you haven’t earned enough to receive a tax refund you still need to complete tax for this year.

4. If you need to file for bankruptcy and you’re not Donald Trump – Don’t panic
CNN found Trump’s company went bankrupt in 2004. Now his situation would be a little different to us but if you find yourself needing to claim bankruptcy the first step is not to panic. People perceive bankruptcy as a punishment, but it’s more like a chance to reset. In saying that, don’t rush into it. Filing for bankruptcy can suspend a number of things for 3 years at least. It’s best to sit down and talk with one of our professionals before diving head first.

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