Death by taxes

It's been a long couple of days but I can finally say: My taxes are done!

Since I moved to Australia in the last financial year, this has been the first time I've had to complete a tax return properly. Prior to this I was a student or working small casual jobs in England where the tax system is slightly different. I can't say it was a very enjoyable experience but as the saying goes:

...but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Unfortunately I have neither the assets, nor the deviance to enable me to avoid either of the above so I'm restricted to doing my duty and paying up. If only coffee were a deductible and non-renewable asset that I could claim deductions for. Complete with a different formulae dependent on the strength, brand, cost and style of coffee drunk which will calculate the applicable offset. That is however, perhaps a task for another blog post.

One thing that I did struggle a little to comprehend whilst filling in forms was exactly how my semi-ethereal assets are defined. Working in the industry I do and taking that work out of the office during the evening and weekends means I'm dealing with data and the cloud on a deductible basis.

How do you define data?

The hardest part of the tax return however was putting a value and an asset class on some of the less physical items I purchased over the past year; specific to my industry. It started to really make me think about things when I put domain names down. Sure, they're a form of asset but when you really think about it you're just paying someone to use letters in a specific order. I must be an enormous mug as I'm paying for more than one set of letters!

Data too, is hard to quantify. Since it's not really an asset that you own, more a consumable item for which a fee is paid to use said item every month; all very confusing. After a couple of quick skype calls to accountant friends and several hours trawling through various pages on the ATO website I feel like I made an accurate, if conservative judgment.

What will happen with the rebate?

Since I filed with e-tax I've been advised to expect a 12 day wait (not too bad for bureaucratic  standards) before I can start splurging. Unfortunately since I am a mature adult with responsibilities and bills to pay I'll be splurging on sensible boring things. If you've got anything cool/unusual lined up for your rebate let me know in the comments!

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