Get Ready Guide
Everything you need to prepare for your Tax Return with DriveTax
Express Tax – How It Works
- Gather all the information in the list below before you begin.
- If you are a DriveTax BAS Client, please lodge your June BAS before starting your Express Tax form.
- The Express Tax online form starts with your personal details, and then works through your rideshare or food delivery income and expenses, employment income, private health insurance and tax deductions. There will be space at the end of each section for you to add any comments or extra deductions. You can save your progress at various points along the way (we cannot recover passwords so please record these carefully!). This should take you 20-40 minutes depending on the complexity of your return.
- Once you’ve submitted your Express tax form, we’ll email you a list of documents we need you to send us. This will include your Tax Summaries (monthly or annual) from the companies you drive for (unless we already have them from your BAS’s), and your DriveTax spreadsheet if you used it (the spreadsheet is completely optional). You don’t need to send your employee payment summaries, bank interest or private health insurance statement because the ATO will send these to us directly. And you don’t need to send us your deduction receipts, you just need to file these at home in case the ATO request them.
- Your tax return will be processed personally by Uber tax expert Jess Murray CPA. This will usually be within two weeks, but during July-September can occasionally be up to three weeks. If Jess has any queries, needs more information, or has suggestions for extra tax deductions that you haven’t thought of, she’ll be in touch via email.
- Once your tax return is complete, we’ll email a copy for you to review and sign. We’ll also send your invoice, and payment is required before we can lodge your tax return. Our payment options include bank transfer, credit card and PayPal. Your payment is processed securely through PayPal’s merchant bank for your peace of mind.
- Once your return has been lodged the ATO’s processing time is usually 12 business days. If you have a refund the ATO will deposit it directly into your bank account. If you have tax to pay they will send details of your due date and how to pay.
Documents & Information Needed
Uber, Rideshare & Food Delivery Income
- ABN – you must have an ABN before we can lodge your return. If you don’t have one, we can help you register for free.
- Rideshare & Food Delivery Tax Summaries –
- Uber – if you drive for Uber or UberEats please send us your annual tax summary, or if that is not available then the monthly tax summaries are fine. Please do not send weekly summaries or CSV files.
- Ola – if you drive for Ola, they also issue an annual tax summary, please send this to us. If you can’t access the annual summary then you can send your monthly tax summaries instead.
- DiDi – DiDi don’t issue an annual summary, so we will need your monthly tax summaries. Please only send the tax summaries, NOT the tax invoices or tax statements.
- Shebah – Shebah send their income summaries via email, so you will need to search your inbox and either screenshot or save as PDF your income summaries for the financial year. Please don’t send email files, we’re unable to open them.
- Other Companies – if you have an annual tax summary for the Australian financial year (1 July – 30 June) then you can send that to us. Otherwise please add up your total income for the financial year from your internet banking and just let us know the total in your Express Tax form.
- Logbook Percentage – if you kept a 12-week logbook, you will need to calculate your logbook percentage. You can find instructions in our blog post on Keeping a Logbook for Uber.
- DriveTax Spreadsheet – if you used the DriveTax spreadsheet we will ask you to email it to us. The spreadsheet is completely optional, you can absolutely still use the Express Tax service if you didn’t use the DriveTax Spreadsheet.
- Expenses – if you didn’t use the DriveTax Spreadsheet, and you didn’t lodge all your BAS’s with us, then you will enter your expense totals in the Express Tax form. Here are some quick tips:
- You will need a total for each category of expenses, for example a total for fuel, a total for insurance, a total for mobile phone bills, a total for rider amenities and so on. Your totals should be inclusive of GST, and should be 100% of what you spent (i.e. don’t adjust for private use, we will do that for you)
- See our blog post on Tax Deductions for Uber & Rideshare Drivers for a list of what you can claim. The Express Tax form will ask you about all possible expenses to help jog your memory and to make sure we don’t miss any tax deductions.
- Note that you can only claim car running costs (e.g. fuel, insurance etc) if you have kept a valid logbook. Otherwise you can only use the cents per km method. For more information please see our blog post on Keeping a Logbook for Uber.
- You don’t need to send us your receipts or records, but you must keep them at home for five years.
- New Car Purchase Details – if you bought a new car from a dealer we will need you to send us the tax invoice. If you bought it privately then you just need to fill the purchase date and price into the Express Tax form. We will then calculate your Instant Asset Write-Off or Temporary Full Expensing. Note that you MUST have a 12-week logbook to make these claims.
- Car Loan Details – if you have a loan on your car, we need the total of interest paid for the financial year (not the total repayments, just the interest). Please provide a total figure if you can get one from your lender, otherwise we will need your original loan documents showing the repayments, term, amount borrowed and interest rate (a logbook is required to claim this).
- JobKeeper – you’ll need to tell us the total of JobKeeper payments that were deposited in your bank account for the financial year (not including employee JobKeeper, they will be reported by your employer). The easiest way to find your JobKeeper payments is from your internet banking. Jump back to one of your JobKeeper payments and make note of the description that appears on the bank statement. Then do a search for this phrase (make sure your search goes all the way back to the 1st of July 2020), and you should see all your JobKeeper payments for the year. For the 2020-21 financial year, if you received the original JobKeeper you should have four payments (July-October), then Extension 1 was three payments (November-January) and Extension 2 was three payments (February-April)
- If you lodged ALL your BAS’s with DriveTax this year we will already have most of the above income and expenses on file, so you won’t need to provide them again. However, if you have not yet lodged your June BAS you must lodge this first before your tax return so that we have that data. You’ll also be eligible for a 10% discount on your tax return. If we lodged some but not all of your BAS’s please enter your whole financial year expenses in the Express Tax form.
Employee & Other Income
- Information you do NOT need to provide – we will get these from the ATO:
- PAYG Payment Summaries (including JobKeeper received from an employer)
- Private Health Insurance Statement
- Centrelink Income (including JobSeeker)
- Bank Interest
- Dividend Income
- Most Managed Funds – note that these can take a few weeks, or even months, after 30 June to become available
- Information you DO need to provide:
- Capital Gains – purchase and sale details for any shares, property or other assets that you sold during the financial year
- Rental Property income and expenses
- Employee tax deductions – suggestions below, no receipts needed, just totals of your expenses
- Spouse name, date of birth and approximate taxable income
We can download most of these items from the ATO, but it takes a few weeks after the end of the year before they are available. If you are doing your tax return in July keep in mind we may have to wait a little for the information to come through.
- Estimated work-related kms OR running costs and logbook percentage
- Travel, accommodation, parking
- Tolls and public transport – you can either add up your specific trips, or add up your total bills for the year and then work out what percentage is work use
- Uniform and protective clothing
- Union fees, registration fees, professional memberships
- Education, courses and professional development
- Police checks, working with children checks
- Mobile phone and internet – monthly cost and estimated work percentage
- Home office expenses – estimated hours worked from home per week – note that the ATO recently introduced an alternative home office claim rate of 80 cents per hour, but using this rate means you cannot claim any other home expenses, including internet, stationery, computer expenses etc. In my experience, the regular 52 cents per hour claim usually gets a larger tax deduction overall, but I will calculate both methods just to be sure, and will claim whichever gets you the best result.
- Stationery, computer expenses, software, antivirus, apps
- Assets over $300 – iPads, computers, mobile phones etc – purchase date and purchase price of each individual asset required
- Tax Agent’s Fees from last year’s tax return
- Income Protection Insurance
- After-Tax Super Contributions – If you made additional after-tax super contributions during the financial year, you have the option of claiming a tax deduction for them if you wish (not applicable to regular employer contributions or pre-tax/salary packaged contributions). Be aware that if you claim a tax deduction for after-tax super contributions in your personal tax return you’ll receive a tax benefit at your marginal tax rate, but you will be taxed an additional 15% on the contributions within your super fund. You will also be ineligible for any other benefits on that amount, such as the government co-contribution. The choice is yours whether you wish to claim the tax deduction or not. (Please note that DriveTax is not a licensed financial planner and so we can’t advise you on this. If you need help deciding you can chat to your super fund.) If you would like to claim a tax deduction you must first advise your super fund, and receive written confirmation from them that they have received your request. Your super fund should have instructions on their website.
- Agent’s Statement
- Interest paid on loan for the financial year
- Other Expenses – insurance, council rates, water rates, repairs & maintenance, body corporate
- Depreciation Schedule – if available
If you wish to claim your fuel, insurance, depreciation and other car running costs, you MUST have a valid ATO-compliant logbook. A valid logbook must go for 12 weeks, and it must include your odometer reading at the start and end of every Uber-related trip.
Your logbook must have started before 30 June, for it to be valid for that year’s tax return. It doesn’t have to finish before the 30 June, so for example a logbook that runs from May to July is fine, however you’ll have to finish the 12 weeks before we can prepare your tax return.
If you don’t have a valid logbook you cannot claim your running costs, and instead you may only use the cents per km method. The cents per km method gives you a deduction of 72 cents per km (68 cents for 2020 and earlier years), up to a maximum of 5,000km. That’s a maximum deduction of $3,600.
See our blog post on Keeping a Logbook for Uber for more information.
Receipts and Records
Receipts or records are required for all deductions, except where we’ve noted that an estimate is allowed. The ATO prefers receipts and tax invoices, but accepts bank statements or other records where a receipt isn’t available. Scanned or digital copies of your physical receipts are acceptable to the ATO. You need to keep your receipts and records for five years. You don’t need to send your receipts to us, but you must keep them in case the Tax Office asks for them.
Tips For Maximising Your Tax Deductions
- For Uber and rideshare tax deductions, our blog post on Tax Deductions for Uber & Rideshare Drivers is your number one resource.
- Your bank statements are a great source of information. Try exporting your statements to Excel and sorting alphabetically. This will make it much easier to search through for potential tax deductions
- For general employee tax deductions, our list above should give you quite a few ideas of what’s deductible. In addition, the ATO have information on their website about deductions you can claim. The ATO also have some great deduction guides for specific occupations explaining what you can and can’t claim. There are guides for teachers, nurses, airline employees, police officers, fitness industry workers, hairdressers, sales reps, hospitality workers and many more. Be sure to check if there’s one for your industry.
- Flick back through your diary or calendar to remind yourself of courses, seminars or travel expenses.
- Search your email inbox for the words ‘receipt’ and ‘invoice’, you might find purchases you’ve forgotten about.
- If you use your phone or iPad/tablet for work, you may have purchased apps that are tax-deductible. Log onto your iTunes or Google Play account and see if you’ve paid for any apps that you use for work.
- Don’t forget about monthly or yearly online subscriptions that you use for work, such as Microsoft Office, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Adobe, and your anti-virus.
- If you don’t have one already, create a folder in your email inbox called ‘Tax’, and save all your receipts there ready for next tax time. If you find it hard to hang onto physical receipts, just take a photo on your phone straight away (even while still standing at the checkout!) and email it to yourself to save in your ‘Tax’ inbox folder.
Please note that at such a busy time of year we can’t respond to tax deduction questions via email. If you’re not sure whether something is deductible, please include it in the comments section of your Express Tax form I’ll let you know if you can claim it.
I look forward to working with you!
Jess Murray CPA