Debunking EOFY Myths

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By Published On: June 6, 20240 Comments

Officeworks data has revealed that claim confusion is running rampant as Aussies gear up to tackle the EOFY.

Officeworks’ EOFY Report has revealed that Australians are struggling to get their head around tax time. The research found that 93 percent of Australians are either just as confused as they were last year (81 percent) or more confused about completing their tax return this year (12 percent compared to nine percent who were more confused in 2023 compared to 2022). 

Cost of living continues to play a major focus for Australians and small business leaders in 2024, with close to half (46 percent) of Australians researching their purchases more this year due to the rising costs. Over 40 percent of small business leaders are also investigating more before they purchase something in the lead up to EOFY, with 33 percent researching retailers and 31 percent researching products to ensure they’re getting the best value.

Two thirds of small business leaders find the tax system confusing, a four percent increase from last year.

Financial expert and founder of Women with Cents, Natasha Janssens said: “Many Australians underestimate their tax obligations, often relying on word of mouth, or believing common misconceptions that could affect their entitlements. With an increasing number of Australians looking to do their tax returns themselves this year, it’s more important than ever to understand what and how you can claim.”

Misconceptions about how to navigate the tax system can cause some serious issues down the line. Officeworks found that 61 percent of Australians incorrectly believe you can use bank statements as proof of expenses, 47 percent incorrectly believe you can use the fixed rate method AND claim individual working from home expenses, 37 percent incorrectly believe you can claim up to $300 if you had no expenses, and a quarter of respondents incorrectly believe home to work travel is claimable.

“While using bank statements is common practice, it’s important to recognise their limitations as standalone proof of purchase, and misunderstanding methods and assuming standard claims can often lead to missed deductions or penalties that could impact your chances of claiming everything you’re entitled to,” said Janssens.

Officeworks has found that 33 percent of Australians are looking to save money this EOFY by doing their tax return themselves, a four percent increase from 2023, however, more than a quarter (28 percent) are going to a professional tax agent to help maximise their return, up four per cent from 2023.

Officeworks General Manager Merchandise Jim Berndelis said: “Our research has shown that the number of Australians keeping a physical folder of receipts has dropped (from 48 percent in 2023 to 43 percent in 2024), highlighting a move toward digital receipts and online tracking tools and apps, especially for Gen Z customers.”

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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