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Employee taxes: a small business guide

It’s that time of year again. Learn about the best time to lodge your tax return, what you can and can’t claim and how to start the new financial year on the right foot.

The best time to lodge

Filling out your tax return gets easier if you wait an extra couple of weeks to lodge. By waiting until late July, most of your information from employers, banks, health funds and government agencies will be automatically pre-filled in your return for you. All you’ll need to do is check the information is correct and add anything that’s missing.

Those who wait for pre-fill generally won’t have their return held up in the system, and won’t need to amend it when the information arrives.

Employers can assist by completing their end-of-financial-year Single Touch Payroll (STP) finalisations as soon as possible.

End-of-year finalisation through Single Touch Payroll

Employers must finalise their employees’ STP data by 14 July. If you have closely held payees, you may have a later due date for those payees only.


Remember to finalise all employees you’ve paid and to double-check you’re finalising STP data for the 2022-23 financial year – particularly if doing so in the first few days of July.

Know what you can and can’t claim

Whether you work in an office, herd cattle on a farm, fix computers or mend broken bones – the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a range of tailored occupation guides that can help you work out what you can and can’t claim at tax time.

Remember there are 3 golden rules when it comes to claiming a deduction for a work-related expense:

  1. You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
  2. It must directly relate to earning your income
  3. And you must have a record (usually a receipt) to prove it.

Working from home deduction changes

If you or your employees have been working from home, there are two ways to calculate deductions this tax time – the revised fixed rate method, or the actual cost method.

From 1 July 2022, the revised fixed rate method has increased to 67 cents per hour worked from home, and no longer requires you to have a dedicated home office space. The expenses covered in the rate, and the records you’ll need to keep, have changed too.

Starting the new financial year on the right foot

Now is a good time to check if there are any tax-deductible items your business may need, or any concessions that can be accessed before 30 June.

You could be eligible for simplified depreciation rules, immediate deductions for pre-paid expenses or temporary full expensing. These can help you reduce your tax bill and save you time!

Taxable payments annual report


If your business makes payments to contractors, you may need to report these payments and lodge a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR). Prepare for your TPAR by keeping records of contractor payments and get ready to lodge by 28 August to avoid penalties for failing to lodge on time.


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