My steps to lodge my own tax return – Salaried worker with normal expenses

This is my own steps, that I drafted on my own, to lodge the much dreaded yearly tax return. It won’t work to everyone’s needs, it suits mine – normal salaried worker with long term held shares and properties.

  1. Create an excel spreadsheet. 
    1. I have my own that I create for my own circumstance, that you can copy from here.
    2. Save that spreadsheet under  “Income Tax Return FInancial Year 20xx” in e-file system.

Tip: model the spreadsheet as per income tax return lay out

Tip no 2: always refer to the guide and ATO website in general for a clear guidance

  1. Do your expenses first
    1. Calculate your WFH days
    2. Calculate your WFH deductions per ATO website
    3. Enter this into the spreadsheet
    4. Grab the expenses you had filed during the year, for example:
    5. Stationery expenses
    6. Laptop invoice
    7. Keyboard invoice
    8. Ergo chair invoice
    9. Working desk invoice
    10. Desk lamp invoice


  • whenever I incurred an expense to gain assessable income e.g. laptop, I will always straightaway safe keep it.
  • How?
  • screenshot it or save it into my gmail, and then label it as Income Tax Return FInancial Year 20xx”.
  • And then synch that straight into into my e-filing system into the folder “Income Tax Returno a FInancial Year 20xx.
  1. Enter these expenses into the spreadsheet
  1. Do your incomes 
    1. Get your PAYG SUMMARY off MYGOV
      1. Key into the spreadsheet your gross salary & withheld amount
    2. Check your other incomes, some of most common incomes are here:
      1. Dividend – from your broker’s EOFY statement
      2. Interest on savings – from your banks and it will be data matched
      3. Capital gains – from your broker’s EOFY statement 
      4. Online retail income – from eBay, PayPal, etsy, etc
      5. Share trading income – from your broker’s EOFY statement
  2. Double check everything
  3. Ensure all necessary documents are saved in the folder
  4. Have a break 
  5. Triple chec
  6. Key these figures into etax/mygove
  7. Double check everything
  8. Ensure all necessary documents are saved in the folder
  9. Have a break 
  10. Triple check
  11. Keep these for proofs:
    1. lodged lodgement
    2. lodgement receipt
    3. Your excel 
    4. All of the invoices, EOFY statements from brokers, bank statements, etc
    5. Notice of Assessments (once received)

For property investor

  1. I would suggest that every investor check rent regularly i.e. whenver rental statement comes in, it’s got to be checked on its accuracy i.e.:
    1. is the income correct, 
    2. Has it covered all the required rental period
    3. Is this expense necessary 
    4. Has this expense been approved by you)
    5. Has the money (net rent) indeed transferred and received into the nominated bank account of yours
  2. While rent checking, I would suggest that you have an excel tracking:
    1. Gross income
    2. Other rental related incomes
    3. Expenses such as:
      1. Rates
      2. Council
      3. Utilities
      4. Property management
      5. Body Corp
      6. Interest deductions
      7. Capital works
    4. Net rent
  3. This way, at filing, you would only need to very little steps, such as the following. I have created my own template for my own situation, which you could use to give you an idea on how to do yours.
    1. Get your gross income from EOFY rental statement
    2. Total your expenses, e.g.:
      1. Council
      2. Utilities
      3. Body Corp
      4. Advertising
    3. Total your expenses
    4. Deduct your gross income against your total expenses, to get your net income
    5. Fill in the schedule of property
    6. Fill in the rent section with these figures:
      1. Gross rent
      2. Interest
      3. Capital works
      4. Other
      5. Net loss
    7. And then double and triple check. Ensure you have all documents.
    8. If everything is correct, all documents are saved properly on hand. You’re ready to submit 🙂

Note: if have any doubt, call the tax office directly. They are super friendly!

How to look for an online broker (forex)


Things to look for when looking for a good online broker

  1. Compliance to the law.
    1. I don’t personally look for the cheapest. Because most of the time, what you pay is what you get. You pay little, most of the time, you’ll get low quality product and/or service.
    2. I look for a solid good one, which is compliant to the law (in each country it has present in), this way, they won’t take your hard earned profits.
    3. There are instances in which broker do nasty things to take away our profits
      1. closing long trade profits
      2. create a broker specific spike closing our short term profits or worse, closing what’s been profitable trade into a nil profit or worse, a loss trade
      3. the worst is, literally taking money from our accounts (I have seen this when I looked for a good reputable online broker in FCA broker check)
  2. Size matters. I personally look for a large one (The broker must be present in (and comply to) large western countries ie UK, US and Australia). Again ,it won’t be the cheapest (cheapest fee or thinnest spread) but this way;
    1. It has enough liquidity to enter and exit freely. Once you gain sufficient experience, this is crucial. It is less important in forex but very important in stock.
    2. It will be more accommodating in terms of providing a large varieties of forex pairs, cfds, etc that you want to trade on.
    3. They will  have more (more people and more ways to) and faster support to you (when trading forex, it does count a lot)

How to check for compliance:

  1. FINRA broker check (US)
  2. FCA broker check (UK)
  3. ASIC (Australia)

I check the broker in all 3 countries (US’, UK’s and Australia’s) regulators.

Recommendation is IG – highly recommended.

The reasons IG is recommended:

  1. Compliant. I did not see in FINRA, FCA & ASIC any notes, this means to me that IG is relatively safe. It did not have any notes of taking people’s money (literally out of the account), churning people’s money for over trading. So IG is safe in my opinion. And I have been using since around 2015 and it’s been very good.
  2. Large
    1. Accommodative. It can list a foreign stock if you request them to do so.
    2. Prompt service. I called, chatted, requested for IT help, they promptly resolved my queries.
  3. Reasonable thin spread on majors (major forex pair)
  4. Zero fees on forex trading
  5. Reasonable charting and online trading platform.
  6. (I won’t cover stocks but it provides shares (Australian and US) at relatively low fees – a plus for most people)

If you open a CFD account (can trade forex) with IG and make 5 qualified trades within 6 months of opening the account, you might receive $150 from IG.

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