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 Cutting your losses at tax time

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Number of posts : 12
Age : 32
Registration date : 2011-06-03

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PostSubject: Cutting your losses at tax time    Cutting your losses at tax time  Icon_minitimeWed Jun 29, 2011 9:49 pm

Death and taxes may not be the only two certainties in life (surely eating and sleeping rank up there as well), but it's hard to argue that they don't have a lot in common. One main difference, though, is that you can do a lot to minimise your taxes - and as the financial year comes to an end and you start getting ready to file your return, it's certainly going to be on your mind. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to legally lower or minimise your tax, covering all aspects of your life, from education and work to your personal investments. With good record-keeping and a bit of time, you can make tax minimisation another sure thing in your life.

If you're running your own business, work expenses aren't just a pain in the rear end: they're also potential deductions from your tax return. You can claim deductions on equipment which you use for work, including everything from business computer rentals and mobile phone plans to industrial machinery, as long as you can prove that it's being used primarily for business use (which isn't too onerous a task). If you have an office - or if you work from home - you may also be able to get a refund on rent and other expenses like electricity and water. It certainly makes working at home that bit more enjoyable.

You can never be too young to take care of your hip pocket, and both students and their parents alike should know that education can actually help lower your tax. The most obvious way to get your schooling to work for you is to take advantage of the Government's Education Tax Refund, which allows you to make claims on expenses incurred for you, or your child's high school education. That includes everything from textbooks to computers and laptops - and you don't even need to submit a tax return to make a claim. Just remember to keep your receipts so you can make your claims at tax-time.

Finally, personal investments which go bad can be partially salvaged when tax-time comes around. If you make a loss on investments, like shares or property which you sell for less than you bought, you can claim that loss against your salary (or the profits made on other investments) to get a tax deduction. However, this does mean that you have to "realise" your loss, meaning that you can't claim a deduction if you haven't sold those shares or property.

Tax-time may be arduous, but managing your returns well can bear fruit in the process. By keeping your books in order and finding out what you can claim, you'll be able to have peace of mind when it comes to tax. Now, about that other certainty of life…

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