The EOFY Checklist All Parents Need to Know
By Jessie Petterd, iSelect spokeswoman.
It’s that time of year again when we start to dig out our old receipts and invoices for the tax office and hope for nice chunky tax return. That’s right, it’s the end of financial year.
While a tax return (if eligible) is always a nice mid-year boost to the household budget, there are in fact other ways you can potentially save money this end of the financial year and the answer could be lying within your utilities and insurance.
A quick review of your current insurances and utilities could actually end up saving you hundreds of dollars a year. You might be thinking ‘That’s nice but I’m a busy parent, I barely have time to lodge my tax this year let alone conduct a review of my finances’. Which is why we’ve done the legwork for you and put together an EOFY checklist for your utilities and insurances.
EOFY Checklist for Parents:
- Review your health policy: If you already have private health insurance and your life circumstances have recently changed, for example perhaps you’ve decided you’re finished having more babies, it might be time to review your policy to make sure you’re not paying for things you no longer need.
- Watch out for Medicare Levy Surcharge(MLS): If however, you don’t have private hospital cover, do keep in mind that you could be slapped with paying a minimum of $900 a year in extra tax thanks to the MLS if your taxable income is more than $90,000 per year as a single or $180,000 for families. If you’re earning above the MLS income threshold and don’t have private hospital cover, you won’t be able to avoid the tax this financial year. However, this June could be a great time to consider taking out cover to help reduce the risk of being slugged with extra tax next financial year.
- If you’re turning 31, consider health cover: If you don’t have hospital cover by 1st July following your 31st birthday, you’ll pay more for your hospital premiums if you do decide to take it out down the track due to Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. The longer you wait to take out cover, the more expensive it can become. So, if you turned 31 during the past year (or are about to) and don’t have private health insurance, now could be the time to think about taking out hospital cover to help avoid paying higher premiums later in life.
- See if you can claim on your income protection insurance premiums: One of the first things I did after having my first born was take out income protection insurance for myself and my husband. I hated the thought of not being able to make ends meet for my family if we were to become sick or injured and couldn’t work. So, what does this have to do with tax time though? If you have income protection insurance, you may be surprised to know that you could be eligible to claim on your premiums at tax time. The ATO states that the amount of tax deduction you can claim may depend upon, your taxable income, your tax rate, your premium price. Note, your income protection must be separate from your superannuation to make a claim.
- Review your utilities: This one might sound mind-numbing however, its where a lot of the savings may be found. Sitting down and reviewing your household bills against other offers in the market may not be something you have time for, which is where a comparison service like iSelect can help you. iSelect can review your policy or product, compare it against other offers from their range and to see if we can help find you a better deal* – they even help complete the switch for you! So, now that you’re running out of excuses to review your utilities, here a few bills lying around the house that you can consider starting with:
- Energy bills: With winter now well and truly upon us, it might be a good idea to check you’re still paying a good price for your energy plan if you want to try avoid winter energy bill shock. If you’ve been working from home, remember you may be also entitled to claim on your energy bills, the same goes for internet costs.
- Broadband: A lot of us are likely to be spending more time at home in the colder months streaming movies and shows or playing games online which can come at an expense. Check your broadband plan still meets your family’s browsing needs.
- Home Loan: It’s a good idea to give your home loan a health check at least once a year to make sure the product is still suitable. The end of financial year could be the perfect time to consider whether negotiating a new rate or switching lenders is right for you.
- Car insurance: Whether you drive a bomb or a sports car, its important to review your car insurance regularly to make sure it still suits your current needs and budget.
We’d all love a little bit of extra cash this time of year and it’s great to know there’s more we can do than just rely on our tax return for a potential added boost the bank account. Besides the money you might save, you’ll also enter the new financial year knowing that you aren’t wasting your hard-earned money paying more than you need to on your utilities and insurance. Ahh, can’t you just feel the peace of mind already?
*iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.
Any advice provided by iSelect on this website is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy. You should consider iSelect’s Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect. iSelect receives commission for each policy sold.