According to the bank, the average Australian taxpayer may be missing out on more than $1,000 due to lost receipts, equating to a total of $7.3 billion nationwide, and it says this loss may be down to the one in two (51 per cent) Australian taxpayers who misplace vital receipts needed to support their tax return.
That’s why the bank has launched its new online virtual safety deposit box, NetBank Vault - an online bank account – where its customers can save important documents such as pay slips, scanned copies of passports/drivers licenses and receipts. And, if you are worried about the safety of these important documents, the bank says it has put in place the “greatest online security”.
The study by the bank was conducted over three days last month amongst 1,055 Australians aged 18 years and over and reveals it’s largely receipts for everyday expenses which we’re most prone to misplacing, with stationary and office equipment receipts (25 per cent) topping the list of taxpayer’s most lost receipts, closely followed by fuel (24 per cent) and parking (24 per cent). Other receipts we’re most likely to lose include tolls (15 per cent), travel (14 per cent) and internet usage (11 per cent).
“Our research shows that millions of Australians may be missing out on large sums of money because they simply can’t find receipts at tax time. We live in a virtual world, so searching through reams of paper every year does not make sense. What’s more, with many everyday expenses now being created online, the need to keep piles of paper receipts is slowly disappearing.”
Unsworth says the study also found that more than one in five (23 per cent) of Australian taxpayers believing there’s nothing they can do about lost receipts, and “many are seeing the benefits of being able to store receipts virtually.”
And, a majority of those taxpayers surveyed - 54 percent - say they can see the benefit of storing everything in one place, to help them save time looking for receipts, while 31 percent reckon that they will get a bigger tax return.