Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Are you getting a tax refund? How I worked mine out

If you haven’t read my first post on tax – how it works, why you got a refund, why you should pay your bill, plus FAQs, check it out here.

If you’re a sole trader (self-employed) or business with 30% or more decline in revenue due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a COVID-19 wage subsidy. Here’s more info on financial support during COVID-19.

Hi everyone,

It’s nearly the end of the financial year! You know what that means – EOFY sales (yay!) and tax refunds – or bills.

Tonight, I worked out if I was getting a tax refund or a tax bill. In case you were curious, I thought I would share how I did it and how you can too – so that perhaps, you can either have a tax refund to look forward to, or prepare early in advance for a tax bill you’ll now be able to effortlessly pay off!

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Personal Finance

I have no money and it’s all my fault: a brutally honest guide to taxes

Hi friends,

It’s time.

I’ve been contemplating writing a blog post on income tax for so long, but put it off due to the fact that.. Well, I couldn’t write it with the same positive, optimistic tone of my usual blog posts. Why? Because it’s a rather confronting topic, where most people realise that everything is their fault.

If you’re a calm, humble person, you’ll accept and learn from it. You’ll even thank the person informing you for enlightening you of how income tax works.

If you’re not, you’ll throw a fit and scream at the officer at the other end of the phone as if they are personally responsible for your taxes and your tax bills.

Let’s start from the beginning. In the early years of my career, I used to receive a tax refund every year. But one year, I didn’t, so I asked my tax intermediary why.

“A tax refund every year isn’t guaranteed,” they told me. “It depends on if you have paid the right amount of tax throughout the year. If you have overpaid your taxes, that’s when you get a tax refund.”

I thanked them and moved on with my life.

(I now know that it’s likely when my income went over the $48,000 mark and made me no longer eligible for the IETC – Independent Earner’s Tax Credit. More on this later.)

Who knew that years later, I’d find myself working for the national tax department, explaining people’s tax bills and tax refunds to them on a daily basis? I was recently very surprised to discover that even a friend who was an experienced chartered accountant didn’t understand their tax bill – saying “Why do I have it? I only have PAYE income.”

It’s not the fact that they said it. It’s the fact that they said it coming from a place where they were already assuming everything was IRD’s fault. Some people, on the other hand, open-mindedly and kindly ask, “I don’t get this – could you please help me understand?”

So here are some things I want to preface this blog with:

  • Stop complaining about the government. You’re not edgy.
  • Stop trying to put the blame on the government, or your Kiwisaver provider, or your bank, or your employer.
  • Stop thinking of the IRD as bad, greedy people. They are neutral and have no agenda at all.
  • IRD doesn’t hate you. Most people don’t realise that IRD doesn’t take people’s taxes – IRD only collects information about people’s taxes, and fixes them up at the end of each financial year. In fact, there’s a lot of things IRD wishes they could do, but can’t, because they themselves simply do what the government tells them to do. But if you had to say whether IRD was ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Definitely good. IRD’s policies are inherently lenient and compassionate.

(Or, if you asked me where IRD sits on an alignment chart, I’d say neutral good.)

Let’s get started!

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Budgeting, Lifestyle, Money Mindset, Personal Finance

Money mistakes I made in my 20’s

Hello friends,

Today I’ll be sharing with you some personal finance stories from my 20’s – or shall I say, my early 20’s!

This topic has often been on my mind, but I’ve always been a little hesitant. As a believer in the Law of Attraction – which encourages manifestation of your best life through thoughts, actions & beliefs grounded in positivity, gratitude, and living in the present – it has always felt unconducive to dwell on the past and on mistakes.

But, I believe reflecting on the past can be incredibly valuable. If you look back on your past self and dislike who you were, or where you were in life, it’s a sign that you’ve grown and become a better person since then. Your growth is what makes it possible for you to have that realisation. It’s the same with personal finances.

So, I’d like to introduce you to the hot mess I was in my early 20’s, and the freeing changes I’ve made since. You could even call it my own financial #glowup! Please note these are definitely not all overnight fixes; whether they’ve taken weeks, months, or years to improve upon, they are all things younger me could have done better over the last 8 years. By the way, do y’all like my cute 90’s inspired scrapbook collage?!

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