It is coming up to the time of the year when Helpers on the Five Good Friends platform must get ready to lodge their tax returns.
Working as a Helper, you’ll get to do great things supporting people in your community, choosing when you do it, and earning on your terms. You’ll earn an industry-leading hourly rate reflecting the value of your work.
As an independent contractor, you get to be the boss. And sometimes, that means you might need to do some paperwork. If it’s the first tax time you have operated as an independent contractor, or it’s been a while, you may be looking for a few tips to make life easier.
We’re here to help.
Know what you need to know
At Five Good Friends, we pride ourselves on having a dedicated programme and team to support Helpers with everything from health care learning and development training all the way through to business support.
So, here are some resources to help you get started.
1. Your earnings are right at your fingertips.
Remember that you can find a record of your income from clients who engaged you via the Five Good Friends app. We designed this for our contractor Helpers to make it easier when submitting their tax returns.
After 30 June, your statement of earnings from the financial year 2021/22 will be available from the app. Learn how to download your Earnings Statement here.
Most of us have a MyGov account for Medicare, but MyGov is also a secure way to access other government services, including the Australian Tax Office (ATO). If you haven’t already, the first thing to do is set yourself up with a MyGov account.
Once you have a MyGov account, you can link to the ATO and their service, MyTax, which allows you to lodge online. The service is as safe as online banking and available 24/7, so you can lodge when it suits you, around your schedule.
You can use the service to upload all of your deductions, and once you have completed your return, you will be emailed a receipt.
3. Speak to an accountant
If you have a relationship with an existing accountant, contact them to find out how they can assist you in getting prepared for lodging your tax return. If not, ASIC’s Moneysmart has a great list of questions to ask yourself when looking for an accountant.
4. Know your tax deductions
Tax Deductions are certain expenses you have incurred to earn your income. Keeping track of this expense will enable you to reduce your taxable income before your tax is calculated.
On the Five Good Friends Helper Hub, a dedicated resource just for Helpers, you can find an article on claiming expenses as a tax deduction. It is a great idea to review the ATO’s advice on deductions to make sure everything you plan to claim is allowable.
ASIC’s Moneysmart has a great resource designed for self-employed people. It features useful links, smart tips for managing cash flow, super and tax, and information on income protection.
Moneysmart also features a simple calculator to help you track how much tax you will need to pay at the end of the financial year. Use it to make sure you’re setting aside enough money to cover your tax bill when it comes around at the end of the year.
6. Super Guru
Super Guru is a website created by ASFA, the peak body for Superannuation organisations. Superannuation is important, particularly when working as an independent contractor, and it is your responsibility.
Super Guru contains a host of helpful information, including how much to put away, how to choose a super fund and information specifically designed for the self-employed.
I need some more information?
While we can’t give you dedicated financial advice, we can help you if you need some help in finding how to download anything off the app or if you need to speak to our Finance Team.
Call our Customer Support Team on 1300 787 581 or email [email protected].
And remember, while you have until 31 October to lodge your tax return, if you’re running your own business, time can quickly get away from you!