Tax time is less than two months away. What should people be doing now to make it less painful?

A wise man (Daniel be his name) once told me: “accountants organise what’s already happened. Financial advisers organise the future.”

And that, dear readers, is today’s exercise. Six weeks till June 30? Plenty of time. Last year, the editor gave us four days!

Okay, there’s the short-term “purchasing” advice. Some are able to claim items that are tax deductible for their employment. Buying before June 30 can qualify for a deduction in July rather than waiting another year to claim. (Consider it a shoe-sale – you were going to buy them anyway.)

Depending on your job, this can include stationery, work clothes, sunscreen, newspapers, magazines, car expenses, etc. Check the ATO’s website for claimable items for your occupation.

When it comes to investments, pre-paying investment loan interest can make sense.

For those with property, some spending might qualify for immediate tax deductions. More expensive items might need to be depreciated over several years.

But for some real forward planning, think about your super.

Gen Xers older than 40 should consider salary sacrificing some of their income prior to June 30 into super. (Salaried employees can only salary sacrifice income that hasn’t yet been earned.)

Governments are constantly restricting how much money can be contributed to super. Last week’s Budget was no exception.

It’s becoming increasingly important for Gen Xers to contribute a little more into their super from their early 40s. We simply won’t be able to get as much in as previous generations. Speak to your pay office about salary sacrifice. A few thousand dollars before June 30 can make a big difference.

Bruce Brammall is the author of Debt Man Walking ( and principal adviser with Castellan Financial Consulting.

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