Get ready for tax time

Tax time is a critical period for small businesses and the amount of administrative tasks you must do can be overwhelming. However, with good planning and organisation, you can make tax time less stressful and potentially save money in the process.

It’s also a great time to review your business finances, start prioritising your goals and plan for the next financial year.

If you’re looking to upgrade your vehicle or equipment, claim more tax deductions, improve cash flow, or make a big purchase – here are the steps you could take before 30 June.

Keep accurate records

Good record keeping throughout the year is crucial for small businesses and makes tax time easier. You need to track all your income and business expenses in order to file your taxes correctly. To claim purchases or operating costs like car expenses, home office equipment or phone and internet usage, you’ll need proof such as invoices, receipts and bank statements.

Staying on top of your business records means you don’t miss out on valuable tax deductions or credits, and you can spend less time sorting them out at the EOFY.

Working out your deductions

If you’re a small business owner, head to the ATO website to find out exactly what deductions for small business you can claim, opens in new window. Check with your accountant or tax professional too. You might be able to claim deductions if your business:

  • has a website
  • has motor vehicle expenses
  • uses diesel fuel
  • operates at home
  • has travel expenses
  • uses machinery, tools or computers.

The ATO’s myDeductions, opens in new window app is a free and convenient tool to use if you want to keep your expenses and income records organised in the one place. Check out our helpful business tools and calculators.

Consider prepaying for certain products and suppliers

To reduce your overall taxable income in the current financial year, it may be a useful strategy to prepay for certain products, suppliers or services before 30 June.

Speak to your NAB banker, tax professional or accountant to get a better understanding of your cash flow needs and deduction opportunities.

Update your NAB online banking details

If your banking details are incorrect, it’s more difficult for us to get in touch with you, which can delay refunds from the ATO. If you haven’t already, just download the NAB App, or log in to NAB Internet Banking or NAB Connect, opens in new window. From here, check that your business details are complete and up to date, including your ACN and tax file number.

It may also be a good idea to speak to your accountant or bookkeeper about deadlines and specific details you may need to provide to us before 30 June (e.g. withholding tax and payroll).

Collect relevant statements and paperwork

It will be easier to lodge your tax return if you have all the below details ready.

General details

  • bank or investment account details
  • tax file number (TFN)
  • bank details (BSB and account number) to receive any refund owed
  • details from payments made
  • statements from banks showing interest received
  • employment summaries and group certificates
  • multiple transfers and periodic transfer payment list (older than 90 days)
  • receipts for gifts, donations and work-related expenses.


  • dividend payments and distributions from managed funds
  • investment gains or losses from selling shares, units or rental properties.

Rental or commercial properties

  • rental income earned or paid
  • interest charged on money you borrowed for the rental property
  • any other related expenses, including expenditure on capital works.

You can collect eStatements by logging into NAB Internet Banking or the NAB app. In most cases, we’ll have up to seven years’ history of payments for eligible accounts. Keep in mind that each account is different, so there are different types of statements and summaries.

Use accounting software

Accounting software programs make it easy for you to prepare and lodge your business tax returns. 

With a few clicks you can report your tax to the ATO, and many packages automate data entry with bank feeds directly entering transactions from your accounts to the software. This makes it very easy to reconcile at tax time.

Learn more about accounting package integration

Seek professional advice

Consider consulting with a qualified accountant or tax professional. They can provide guidance tailored to your unique circumstances and potentially help you save money by helping you take advantage of any available tax deductions and credits. They can also help you navigate complex tax laws and ensure that your business complies with government regulations.

Protect your business during tax time

Tax time is a popular period for scammers to target businesses, with the aim of stealing money or information.

Be cautious of any unsolicited emails, SMSs or phone calls that appear to come from the ATO and ask for a payment or your personal information, or advise of a refund owed to you.

If you’re not sure if something’s legitimate, contact the ATO or your accountant directly.

How to protect yourself against tax scams

Look ahead

The next 12 months are critical. Meeting with your accountant or bookkeeper to review your finances can help you prepare.

Here are some key questions you could think about, and how NAB may help:

Need help with cash flow?

Managing the ups and downs of cash flow may be critical for you over the next financial year. In this case, it’s worth considering fast and easy finance options, such as NAB QuickBiz Overdraft – which is specifically designed to help.

Looking to grow your business online?

NAB QuickBiz Loan can provide you with the funds to get going now.

Need to upgrade your vehicle or equipment?

With a NAB Vehicle and Equipment Loan, we can help you pay for business vehicles, construction equipment, access equipment and forklifts up to five years old, as well as agricultural equipment up to seven years old.

Are you expanding overseas?

If you need an extra boost of capital or cash, we can help with tools, tips and much more. This includes our flexible, market-linked NAB Business Options Loan and Business Markets Loan

Be open to change and new ways of working

Lastly, it’s important to review your business and marketing strategies and plans, to make sure they're still meeting your objectives. Being open to review and change can help your business:

  • recognise new opportunities and challenges
  • identify and prioritise goals
  • adapt to ever changing business environments
  • work smarter.

Download our Marketing Plan template (PDF, 1MB), opens in new window. You can also read some helpful articles at our Business Moments Hub.

If growing your business matters to you, we’re here to make it happen.

Important information

The information contained in this article is correct as of 1 May 2019 and is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.