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What You Need To Check Before Purchasing Life Insurance

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What You Need To Check Before Purchasing Life Insurance
What You Need To Check Before Purchasing Life Insurance

If something unexpected or untoward happens to you or your loved ones, life insurance is financial protection that you don’t want to skimp on. It’s crucial to find the right insurance to suit your needs, as the cost of life insurance can become a costly amount in your budget.

Different life insurance products are designed to protect you and your loved ones from various events that can occur. Some of the products that may be covered under life insurance (depending on the provider) include:

  • Life Cover pays out a lump sum if you die.
  • Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance pays a lump sum to help you with rehabilitation and living costs.
  • Trauma insurance covers you if you’re diagnosed with a major illness.
  • Income protection insurance pays some of your income if you can’t work due to illness or injury.

Before making a purchase, you should read the life insurance provider’s product disclosure statement (which legally must be provided to you before purchase). Check the product disclosure statement for:

  • What’s covered and excluded under the policy
  • What information you will need to give to an insurer
  • Information on premiums and how they change over time
  • Waiting periods before you make a claim
  • How to make a claim
  • How to make a complaint about the claims process or decision

As it is a significant financial decision, shop around before making the final decision to ensure that you are getting the product that best suits your needs.

You should also check whether or not you already have life insurance through your super to make sure that you are not paying for your insurance twice. If you’re not sure about whether or not your super provider already covers your life insurance, it’s best to speak with them directly to be certain.

It is also important to know that only licensed financial advisers can give you advice about what life insurance you should hold.

High School Students, It’s Time To Get Creative About Tax & Super

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High School Students Its Time To Get Creative About Tax Super
High School Students Its Time To Get Creative About Tax Super

The ATO’s Tax, Super + You competition is a fun and engaging way for Australian high school students to learn about tax and super, unleash their creativity and potentially win some great prizes.

Working as a part of a team or individually, students are invited to write, make or film an entry for their topic:

* Junior (Year 7–9) are asked to highlight the value of tax or super (or both) in the community

* Senior (Year 10–12) must discuss your first job and what you need to know about tax and super.

Shortlisted entries in 2019 included raps, songs, animations, video skits and even a board game. If you’re a high school student interested in competing this year or are the parent of one, this resource is a great way to see how people have gotten involved previously (and that you can draw inspiration from as well).

The competition opened on 24 May, but entries will be accepted until 13 August. The winners will be decided by a judging panel, including guest judge Effie Zahos who is one of Australia’s leading personal finance commentators. The public can also vote for their favourite entry in the People’s Choice Awards.

Tax Office Assistant Commissioner Sally Bektas said she was thrilled to be back on the judging panel.

“Our Tax, Super + You competition has really shown that building financial literacy can be fun and bring out the best in students. I’m so excited to see the entries for 2021,” Sally said.

You can watch Sally explain how to get involved on ATOtv.

Winners of the 2021 Tax, Super + You competition will be announced in September.

Looking for more information about the 2021 Tax, Super + You competition? Visit www.taxsuperandyou.gov.au/competition to find out more details.

Your First Tax Return: What You Need To Know

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Your First Tax Return What You Need To Know
Your First Tax Return What You Need To Know

Tax return season is quickly approaching for individuals. You may need to begin thinking about the process sooner rather than later to ensure that you have everything ready for your accountant. If you’ve never had to complete a tax return before (and it’s your first time) or are still uncertain about what you need to do, this process can feel a bit like a Mount Everest you need to climb.

Putting it simply, if you are earning or will earn more than $20,542 this year, you will need to lodge a tax return. However, if you haven’t made that amount but your employer has taken tax out of your pay, you should lodge a return anyway to receive some (if not most) of that money back.

How much money you receive back from the tax return will be affected by how much income you have earned. Some debts (such as HECS or HELP) will begin to take money out of your return after reaching a certain income threshold level (currently set at $46,620).

A tax return is where you report all of your income earned over the past financial year. It should include ATO-reported income (which you generally won’t have to worry about as we have access to it automatically) such as salary or non-ATO reported income. This income may be income that has not been sent to the ATO and could include tips, any income you’ve earned while working under an ABN or payments from a family trust. You need to work out all of the income that you have earned and report it to remain compliant with the ATO.

In a tax return, you will also be entitled to make tax deductions on certain items if they apply to your situation. This means that you may receive a greater amount in your tax refund.

You will be entitled to tax deductions on items such as:

  • Uniforms and protective clothing
  • Certain travel expenses between workplaces, e.g. travel between sites (but not travel expenses from home to work)
  • If an apprentice or trainee, if you have had to buy any of your tools or equipment out of pocket, you can claim them as a tax deduction (but cannot do so if your employer purchased them for you)
  • Union fees
  • Any donations that you have made
  • Costs that may have been incurred in the process of educating yourself (e.g. course, seminars, training)

If you want to make sure that you understand precisely what you need to do to lodge your tax return, keep this in mind:

  • If you earned money, you need to report it.
  • If you can’t prove an expense, you can’t claim it.
  • If you want to make extra sure that you’ve got it right, see a tax agent

For assistance during the lodgement of your tax return, you can seek advice from us. We’re here to help ensure you meet your tax obligations by reporting your income correctly for this financial year.

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