FAQs

Frequently Asked

Questions...

The average time to prepare is 10 minutes. Time will vary based on whether you have all the information ready to go, if you have any questions or if you need help using the live chat.

Here are the characteristics of each tax return type:

  • $19 Low Income Return – If you are earning under $20,000 income in the financial year.
  • $39 Simple Return – The most common selection. If you just have salary and wages and don’t have any investments like shares or property. 
  • $59 Investor Return – If your situation is a little more complex and you have investments such as shares or property.
  • $129 Do-it-For-You (DiFY) Return – If you are a sole trader with an ABN or you don’t want to do the return at all, we will do everything for you.

The ATO generally deposits refunds into your nominated account 7-10 working days. They do have a service standard of up to 28 days, however, most are processed within the 10 business days.

Yes. Pay from refund allows you to simply pay POP’s fees from your tax refund, so you don’t pay anything up-front.

There is a standard fee of $30 to use this service.

POP has built an intelligent product that picks up what deductions you can claim based on your occupation.
All you need to do is input your salary and wage income and select your occupation.

POP will guide you through a set of common deductions based on your occupation. The questions were created based on over 10 years of industry experience and in-depth research over a number of years.

POP was developed given the lack of quality options within the accounting industry market. What the founder’s saw was people aren’t getting asked the right questions to max their tax back, and the support is often average at best.

Introducing POP, which answers all the above questions and gives the power back to the everyday Australians. We built POP for our family and friends to use, to get the best quality tax returns in Australia. This product fortunately is available to the public, who can leverage the thousands of hours to develop a seamless user experience and provide the most sophisticated yet simple tax product available.

POP accountants are experts across different industries to ensure people are able to max their tax back. A seamless user experience has been created to provide the greatest accounting product available.

POP guarantees to max your tax back, via its Max Deductible System, at a fraction of the cost to seeing an accountant.

You can live chat to qualified accountants to help guide you through, pay nothing up-front and receive communication the whole way through for peace of mind.

If you want to join thousands of other Australians using the POP platform to max your tax back, then sign-up for free.

Absolutely not. POP will only provide your data to the ATO when submitting your personal tax return.

Data security is of the upmost importance, so much so, we became ISO27001 certified where an in-depth audit of our data security, controls, processes and software occurred. All data is fully encrypted and the website is secured through the latest Digicert enrytpion.

The POP product provides the average deduction benchmark based on your occupation and income level. If you click on this, you can also see how many people are claiming what deductions, and also, what the average deduction is for the different expenses.

A screen shot is below;

Yes. You can claim the POP fee next year as a tax deduction

You can live chat with accountant between the hours of 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday whilst completing your personal tax return.

POP offers a live chat to ensure you can get tailored accounting advice whilst you prepare your tax return. If you get stuck, just begin the chat by clicking on the chat icon on the bottom right corner of your screen.

The chat hours are 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. If no one is available if it is after chat hours, you will get a response within 24 hours.

POP also has (?) help tips and videos to help you along the way.

POP also offers a ‘Let us do it for you’ option for $129, where POP will take care of your tax return for you.

Once you have submitted your tax return, you will receive an email confirming the next steps, which are;

  1. One of POP’s accountants will review your return for accuracy and completion of information.
  2. If anything is missing, or if POP has any questions, we will email you to get more information.
  3. Once you email back, POP will do a final review and attend to lodgement if everything is in order.
  4. If nothing is missing and everything balances, POP will attend to lodgement at which time you’ll receive a confirmation of lodgement email with your PDF attached.

Unfortunately, no. You don’t get back the whole amount. You get back a % of the deduction based on your income. Let’s say you earn $50,000. As your tax rate at the top is 34.5% (32.5% plus 2% medicare levy), you get back 34.5% of the deduction.

Example – Income $50,000
You have total deductions of $1,000
As your tax rate is 34.5%, your tax payable is decreased by $345. Another way to put it, if you are in a refundable position, your tax refund is increased by $345.

See the tax rates table to see where your income falls and what % of your deductions will reduce your tax payable.

Self-education expenses are deductible when the course you undertake leads to a formal qualification and meets the following conditions.

The course must have a sufficient connection to your current work activities as an employee and:

  • maintain or improve the specific skills or knowledge you require in your current work activities; OR,
  • result in, or is likely to result in, an increase in your income from your current work activities.

Common self-education deductions include:

  • accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight)
  • computer consumables
  • course fees
  • decline in value for depreciating assets (cost exceeds $300)
  • purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less
  • equipment repairs
  • fares
  • home office running costs
  • interest
  • internet usage (excluding connection fees)
  • parking fees (only for work-related claims)
  • phone calls
  • postage
  • stationery
  • student union fees
  • student services and amenities fees
  • textbooks
  • trade, professional, or academic journals
  • travel to-and-from place of education (only for work-related claims).

Travel expenses between workplaces you have incurred as an employee you may be able to claim include:

  • Travel expenses you incurred for meals, accommodation and incidentals while away overnight for work, such as going to an interstate work conference (generally, you can’t claim for meals if your travel did not involve an overnight stay)
  • the costs you incur (such as fuel costs) when using a borrowed car or other vehicle for work purposes
  • air, bus, train, tram and taxi fares
  • bridge and road tolls
  • car parking and car-hire fees.

You have to reduce your claim to exclude any private portion of your trip.

You can’t claim a deduction for any fines you receive, such as speeding or parking infringements.

You also need travel records (such as a travel diary) if you are away from home for six or more nights in a row.

If your travel expenses are reimbursed you cannot claim a deduction.

If your mobile phone costs you $300 or less, you can claim an immediate deduction for its cost less your private %.

If the cost of your mobile phone is more than $300, it will be necessary to spread your claim over the useful life of the mobile phone (depreciation) and only the work-related proportion is claimable.

E.g. You bought a phone for $1,500 on 14 January 2018, the business % 70.

1,500 x 167 / 365 x 70% = $481 deduction in 2018
Cost x (days held) / days in year x business %

Child care expenses are not claimable as a tax deduction. Eligible taxpayers may be able to claim the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR) through the Family Assistance Office.

Child support payment are non-deductible. For income test purposes, the amounts you paid and the benefits you provided for the maintenance of your child will be deducted from the total of the other components that make up your adjusted taxable income.

You may be eligible for FTB Part A if you care for a dependent child who is:

  • 0 to 15 years of age, or
  • 16 to 19 years of age and meets the study requirements

You must also:

  • meet an income test
  • meet residence requirements, and
  • care for the child at least 35% of the time

To be eligible for the FTB Part A supplement your:

  • family’s adjusted taxable income must be $80,000 or less
  • child needs to meet the immunisation requirements, and
  • child needs to have a health check if they’re turning 4 in the financial year and you or your partner receive an income support payment

You may be eligible for FTB Part B if:

  • you’re a member of a couple with 1 main income and care for a dependent child aged under 13, or

you’re a single parent or non-parent carer, or a grandparent carer and care for a dependent child aged under 18. The child must meet study requirements if they’re aged 16 to 18

You must also:

  • meet an income test
  • meet residence requirements, and
  • care for the child at least 35% of the time

You can only claim the net medical Tax offset (NMTO) if you had expenses that relate to disability aid, attendant care or aged care.

This tax offset is income tested. The percentage of net expenses you can claim is determined by your adjusted taxable income (ATI) and family status. If you have a spouse, you should include your spouse’s ATI when calculating the offset. If you do not know your or your spouse’s ATI, you can calculate it using the Income tests calculator provided by the ATO.

You only need to provide the amount of your total net medical expenses in your tax return. The ATO will calculate for you the amount of offset you are entitled to. If you would like to calculate your Net medical expenses tax offset, you can use the net medical expenses tax offset calculator provided by the ATO.

A franking credit is a type of tax credit which gives taxes paid on corporate profits by the company back to the shareholder with the dividend payment. It is also known as an imputation credit. Franking credits were introduced to avoid double taxation.

You are entitled to receive a credit for any tax the company has paid in your dividend is franked (comes with a company tax credit).

Example

Lisa owns shares in CBA. 
The company pays Lisa $70 fully franked dividend and there is a franking credit of $30 showing on the dividend statement.

Lisa will report the $70 as a franked dividend in her tax return, with $30 in franking credits, meaning the total dividend income will be $100 (even though she was physically paid $70).

Lisa receives a tax credit of the franking credit of $30 to offset any tax payable on this income. This accounts for the company tax paid at 30%.

If the franking credit is higher than her tax payable, she will get a refund from the ATO.

If you use the logbook method you can claim the business-use percentage of your total car expenses. You will get the business % by using your logbook for 3 consecutive months during the year and only recording business %. The logbook will then be applicable for 5 years.

To be eligible for the zone offset, your normal residence must be in a zone listed by the ATO. Zone stands for remote areas, and the areas are divided into two zones called Zone A and Zone B. There are also special areas within these zones. A search facility of towns falling in Zones A, B and special areas in the zones is available from Australian zone list, which is provided by the ATO.

Additional conditions need to be met to qualify for a zone tax offset other than living in a remote area. The Zone or overseas forces tax offset calculator provided by the ATO can help you work out your eligibility for a zone or overseas forces tax offset and the amount you can claim. If you resided there for more than half of the year, normally you would be eligible for the offset.

Occupation-specific clothing

You can claim for clothing that is specific to your occupation, isn’t everyday in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation – such as the checked pants a chef wears.

Protective clothing

You can claim for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income-earning activities or the environment in which you carry them out. To be considered protective, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk.

Protective clothing includes:

  • fire-resistant and sun-protection clothing
  • safety-coloured vests
  • non-slip nurse’s shoes
  • rubber boots for concreters
  • steel-capped boots, gloves, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers
  • overalls, smocks or aprons you wear to avoid damage or soiling your ordinary clothes during your income-earning activities.

Work uniforms

You can claim for a uniform, either compulsory or non-compulsory, that is unique and distinctive to the organisation you work for.

Clothing is unique if it has been designed and made only for the employer. Clothing is distinctive if it has the employer’s logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the public.

Compulsory work uniform

This is a set of clothing that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you’re at work.

You may be able to claim a deduction for shoes, socks and stockings where they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform and where their characteristics (colour, style and type) are specified in your employer’s uniform policy.

You may be able to claim for a single item of distinctive clothing, such as a jumper, if it’s compulsory for you to wear it at work. 

Cleaning of work clothing

You can claim the costs of washing, drying and ironing eligible work clothes, or having them dry-cleaned.

You must have written evidence, such as diary entries and receipts, for your laundry expenses if both:

  • the amount of your claim is greater than $150
  • the amount your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300 – not including car, meal allowance, award transport payments allowance and travel allowance expenses.

If you don’t need to provide written evidence for your laundry expenses, you may use a reasonable basis to work out your claim. For washing, drying and ironing you do yourself, we consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

  • $1 per load – this includes washing, drying and ironing – if the load is made up only of work-related clothing, and
  • 50 cents per load if other laundry items are included.

No, there is no limit on the deductions amount, as long as the deductions are related to your work and evidence could be provided to support the deductions.

The law generally requires you to keep tax records for 5 years after tax returns are lodged. This means you should keep all receipts, proof of income, calculations, nominations and other records which are relevant for five years. The reason for that is if the ATO ever questions your tax affairs, it is your responsibility to prove the correct amount and to provide evidence to support what you have reported.

If the total amount you are claiming is $300 or less, you need to be able to show how you worked out your claims, but you do not need written evidence.

The ATO considers a reasonable deduction for work-related laundry claims is $1 per load if it’s only work-related clothing, and 50c if it’s a mixture. For home office expenses, the ATO allows a fixed rate of 52c per hour i(for 2019 FY) f you are working from home, or you can keep a diary of the actual costs.

Common items might be claimed without a receipt:

  • Membership or union fees that could be itemised on your PAYG summary;
  • Fuel and petrol usage, as long as you could demonstrate the number of work-related kilometres you travelled;
  • Computer items if you had a credit card statement showing the purchase, and a photo of the packaging;
  • Stationery items if you had a credit card statement and a note next to the purchase record.

Bank statements and BPay statements would also usually be accepted by the ATO when making deductions.

If the total amount you are claiming is $300 or less, you need to be able to show how you worked out your claims, but you do not need written evidence.

You must be able to substantiate your claims for deductions with written evidence if the total amount of deductions you are claiming is greater than $300. The records you keep must prove the total amount, not just the amount over $300. The $300 does not include car and meal allowance, award transport payments allowance and travel allowance expenses. There are special written evidence rules for these claims which are explained at the relevant items.

If you still need to lodge a tax return for a previous year, it’s important to get up-to-date as soon as possible to reduce the risk of a penalty. The longer you wait, the more chance of ATO fines and interest charges.

If you lodge your late tax return now and you don’t owe the ATO any money, usually they won’t charge any late penalties.

POP can help you get all your outstanding tax returns up date for $129 per Return. Just log into the portal to select the year(s), or email info@pop-tax.com.au.

HECS/HELP is a loan scheme for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places to pay their student contribution amounts. It cannot be used for additional study cost such as accommodation or text books.

You have to start repaying your HELP debt through the taxation system once your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold, even if you are still studying. The compulsory repayment threshold is adjusted each year. The compulsory repayment threshold for the 2017-2018 income year is $55,874.

Repayment income is calculated from the amounts given on your income tax return for:

  • your taxable income;
  • reportable fringe benefits (reported on your payment summary);
  • total net investment loss (which includes net rental loss);
  • reportable super contributions; and
  • exempt foreign employment income amounts.

The HELP Repayment rates are as follows:

If you’re an Australian resident for tax purposes, the first $18,200 of your yearly income isn’t taxed. This is called the tax-free threshold. You can claim the tax-free threshold to reduce the amount of tax that is withheld from your pay during the year. When your taxable income exceeds the tax-free threshold, you pay tax on the excess.

When you start a job, your payer (employer) will give you a Tax file number declaration to complete. Centrelink is also a payer and they will give you this form if you apply for their payments.

You tell your payer you want to claim the tax-free threshold by answering Yes at question 8 ‘Do you want to claim the tax-free threshold from this payer?’

The $18,200 tax-free threshold is equivalent to: 
$350 a week 
$700 a fortnight 
$1,517 a month.

If you are a resident of Australia for tax purposes:

A 2% compulsory medicare levy tax is added onto each of the attached rates. This is income tested for low income earners who will not have to pay the levy.

If you are a Foreign resident of Australia for tax purposes:

Foreign residents are not required to pay the 2% medicare levy tax.

You can claim a deduction for work-related car expenses if you use your own car in the course of performing your job as an employee

There are two methods available to calculating your car deductions are:

  • (1) Cents per kilometre method (If no logbook kept, only option).

Your claim is based on 68cents per kilometre for 2018-19 income year. You can claim a maximum of 5,000 business kilometres per car. You don’t need written evidence but you need to be able to show how you worked out your business kilometres (for example, by producing diary records of work-related trips).

Example – you estimate your work-related travel to be 2,500kms.
2,500kms x 68c = 1,700
Your deduction is $1,700

  • (2) Logbook method

You can claim all expenses relating to your car multiplied by your business % in the logbook. All receipts are required to be kept and produced if queried by the ATO.

Example – Your business % in logbook is 70%.
Fuel- 1,500
Rego – 1,350
Insurance – 1,250
Repairs and maintenance – 1,100
Lease payments (12 x 369) – 4,428
TOTAL Expenses – 9,378

x Business use of 70% – 6,564.60 Car Deduction

If you buy tools, equipment or other assets to help earn your income, and the cost of the individual item is greater than $1,000, you need to apportion the deduction over the life of the asset.

Example;

You bought a laptop on 14 January 2018 that you paid $1,850 and you use for work and/or study. You estimate the private portion to be about 10%.

Cost x days held / days in year x 2 / useful life x work %

1st Year – 1,850 x 167 days / 365 days x 66.66% x 90% = 507.89 is your deduction in 2019.

In 2020, you will claim another deduction based on the written down value. Ie.
1,850 – 507.89 = 1,342.11
2nd Year – 1,342.11 x 365/365 x 66.67% x 90% = $805.31 Deduction in 2020

You can claim expenses relating to your rental property but only for the period your property was rented or available for rent; for example, advertised for rent.

Expenses could include:

  • advertising for tenants
  • bank charges
  • body corporate fees and charges
  • borrowing expenses
  • capital works (Structural depreciation – Quantity surveyors report)
  • cleaning
  • council rates
  • decline in value of depreciating assets (Can get from Quantity Surveyors Report)
  • gardening and lawn mowing
  • insurance – building, contents and public liability
  • interest expenses
  • land tax
  • legal expenses (excluding acquisition costs and borrowing costs)
  • pest control
  • phone
  • property agent fees and commissions
  • repairs and maintenance
  • stationery and postage
  • water charges.

If you have made a mistake, you will need to amend your return and re-submit with the correct details.

You can amend your tax return by logging into the POP portal and clicking on the lodged return and selecting amend. Once this option is selected a new return will appear.

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