Podcast: What School Didn’t Teach You – Episode 4

It’s the End of the Financial Year today – so this episode of What School Didn’t Teach You looks at tax, savings accounts and superannuation. These all become our responsibility as soon as we get our first job – but do we know how to manage them? 

The financial year always starts on the 1st of July. It ends on 30 June, which is also the end of the accounting year. To get back any money for the financial year, you’ll need to lodge a tax return with the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

This can include overpaid tax, plus any expenses that were incurred between the 1st of July and 30th of June of the previous tax year.

In most cases, you can claim basic work expenses, such as travel, dry-cleaning, equipment and self-education expenses. But remember, to do this, you must hold onto your receipts as proof of purchase.

There’s lots more guidance from the ATO on what you can claim here and what workers in different sectors and industries are entitled to claim here

Before you can lodge these claims, you need to set up an account with myGovThis step is super quick and easy, and is an account that you’re going to find yourself needing quite often in your adult life. 

To fill in some of the gaps on what we weren’t taught in school about tax and personal accounting, we enlisted the help of accountant Stephanie Gottliebsen for tips on how to get started with a tax return, some basic accounting skills we should know as young adults, and how best to save our money.

Stephanie works for an accounting firm in Melbourne and specialises in preparing financial reports and tax returns for businesses and individuals.

As you can hear in our podcast, Stephanie also had some tips on how to best organise our superannuation, which may seem premature at our age. But it’s important because once you start working a certain number of hours per week, you’re likely to be getting superannuation payments, irrespective of your age. 

Stephanie suggests that young adults get onto the moneysmart website which is run by the government and can help you out with managing your superannuation, as well as giving a heads up on money news – such as internet scams. 

If you’re still unsure about anything to do with tax, and what money you can get back, check out the Australian Tax Office’s website, or consider making an appointment with an accountant. This podcast isn’t formal financial advice! 

What School Didn’t Teach You is a regular podcast for 15-25 year-olds struggling to master vital life skills as they begin to lead independent lives. Aiming to fill the education gaps that Australian high schools seem to miss, each episode enlists the help of an expert to answer important life questions – from basic accounting skills to attempting to eat well on a low income. It’s produced regularly by Dominique Russell, Isabelle Greigeritsch, Tahlia Zaloumis and Eden Borella.