Get Ready Guide
Everything you need to prepare for your Tax Return with DriveTax
Express Tax – How It Works
- Gather all the information below before you begin, including all of your Monthly Income Summaries from Uber and the other companies you drive for. (Note that Uber usually takes a few weeks to issue summaries, so please wait until you have your June summary before submitting your form.)
- The Express Tax online form starts with your personal details, and then works through your rideshare 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.
- Before submitting you’ll be asked to attach copies of your documents, such as your Uber Monthly Income Summaries, Payment Summaries and Private Health Insurance annual statement. Alternatively, you can email them straight to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will process your tax return within two weeks (during July-September it can occasionally take up to three weeks). If we have any queries, need more information, or have suggestions for extra tax deductions that you haven’t thought of, we will ask you 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 they’ll deposit it directly into your bank account. If you have tax to pay they’ll send details of your due date and how to pay.
We do also have VERY limited tax consultations available for 2019. You can find the booking link here. But for a faster turnaround time and fantastic price, consider Express Tax instead!
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.
- Income Summaries –
- If you drive for Uber you can download your monthly summaries by logging on to your Uber account. Just click on ‘Tax Summaries’ at the top of the page, and download the PDF’s. Please do not send weekly summaries.
- The same goes for DiDi, Ola, Taxify/Bolt, Shebah and most other major companies
- If you drive for a different company, try to access a yearly, quarterly or monthly summary. Please do not send weekly summaries.
- Logbook Percentage (if you have kept one)
- Summary of Expenses –You don’t need to send us your receipts, just a summary of the totals. See our blog post on Tax Deductions for Uber & Rideshare Drivers for a list of what you can claim. 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.
- Purchase details of your car – purchase date and price. This allows us to calculate your depreciation deduction (a logbook is required to claim this).
- Loan details for your car – 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).
Did you lodge ALL your BAS’s this year with DriveTax?
If you have lodged ALL of your BAS’s through DriveTax for the year, we will already have your income and expenses on file, so you don’t have 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.
Alternatively, if we lodged some but not all of your BAS’s, or if you lodged your own, then we will need you to fill in the form completely and advise all of your income and expenses for the year.
- PAYG Payment Summaries
- Private Health Insurance Statement
- Centrelink Income (only where a payment summary is issued, Family Tax Benefit and some other payments are not taxable)
- Bank Interest earned for financial year
- Dividends and other investment income received
- Capital Gains – purchase and sale details for any shares, property or other assets sold
- 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
- 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
- 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 cur 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. You only need to make one logbook entry for each Uber shift/session, not for individual passengers. You do not have to record private trips in your logbook
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 68 cents per km, up to a maximum of 5,000km. That’s a maximum deduction of $3,400.
Your logbook must have started before 30 June, for it to be valid for that year’s tax return. You’ll have to finish the 12 weeks before we can prepare your tax return. If you did not start a logbook before 30 June, you will not be able to use the logbook method to claim your fuel and other car expenses this year. Instead you must use the cents per km method. You can still go ahead with your tax return, and we’ll explain further during processing.
You do not need to send us your logbook, instead we’ll just ask you for your final logbook percentage. This is calculated as your Uber kms divided by the total kms your car travelled during the 12 weeks (in order words, the odometer at the end of the 12 weeks minus the odometer reading at the beginning). Note that you are free to choose any 12 week that gives you the best result, as long as it reasonably reflects your actual usage. You must retain your logbook for 5 years after the last tax return for which it is used, so be sure to file it away safely at home.
See our blog post on Tax Deductions for Rideshare Drivers for more information on keeping a logbook, which trips you can include in your logbook, and claiming car deductions.
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. If you have booked a Tax Consultation, please just send a list or summary of your expenses via Email, Word or Excel. If you’re using Express Tax you will enter your deductions directly into the Express Tax form.
When is my tax return due?
It depends. If you lodge your own tax return, or if you have lodged a tax return late in the past, it is the 31st of October. If you have always lodged your tax returns on time, and you will use DriveTax or another tax agent this year, it is the 15th of May the following year.
What if I have employee income too?
Do I have to lodge two tax returns? You will only lodge one tax return, and include all types of income. In other words, you must lodge your rideshare/food delivery and employee income together in one return. All our prices include your employee income as well.
Can you do my spouse’s tax return too?
Yes, we do non-rideshare tax returns as well! Our fee for a non-Uber/employee only return is $140.
What is your processing time?
Express Tax returns are usually complete in two weeks, but can occasionally stretch to three weeks during July-September.
How long will my refund take to arrive?
The ATO’s standard processing time is 12 business days, but sometimes they can take longer.
Can I book a face-to-face appointment?
No, our services are all online so that we can look after drivers across Australia. Consider a Skype appointment instead!
Can you download my income from the ATO?
Yes, we will download your prefilling report. But remember the ATO usually doesn’t get your information until August, so if you are doing your return in July we will need your Payment Summaries, bank interest and other income information directly from you.
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. You may like to print your bank statements or export them to Excel in order to search for potential tax deductions. Alternatively, use the search or filter function in your internet banking.
- For general work 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 or ask during your Tax Consultation and we’ll let you know if you can claim it.
I look forward to working with you!
Jess Murray CPA