Australian tax laws are not simple, which is why Australians engage tax accountants to prepare their tax returns. It helps, too, that the fees paid to your accountant are tax deductible in the year that they are paid!
Individuals are entitled to claim deductions for expenses if they were incurred and are directly related to earning income.
Some of these deductions include motor vehicle & travel expenses, laundry & drycleaning expenses, donations, home office expenses, self education expenses, tools & equipment, books, periodicals, premiums paid for income protection insurance, interest charged by ATO, fees paid to attend seminars, conferences & workshops, union fees, subscriptions to professional associations, etc.
There are also a number of tax offsets available, such as, Beneficiary Tax Offset, Dependent Offset, Private Health Insurance Rebate, Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset, Mature Age Worker Tax Offset, Australian Superannuation Income Stream Tax Offset, Superannuation Contributions on Behalf of Spouse Tax Offset, Low Income Offset, Zones Tax Offset and Overseas Forces Tax Offset.
To add to the complexity, all income must be declared, including foreign-sourced income.
Taxable income includes employment income, investment income, interest income, capital gains, business, partnership & trust income, foreign-sourced income, etc.