Friday, August 01, 2008

Frustrating Month

But at least it was better than last month. On the other hand I'm going to record "trading" losses for the first time in six months. I didn't really do any active trading apart from dealing with an expiring short options position but I mark to market my still open CFD position (SPI (ASX 200 Futures)). The Australian Dollar fell, reinforcing below market returns in US Dollar terms. Full details coming soon. The chart above though could be construed as an inverted head and shoulders formation and weekly charts definitely look like a near term bottom is in place.

I started working on our Australian tax returns. Putting together the spreadsheet for calculating Snork Maiden's tax return. It's the easier of the two but still plenty to learn about. For example, she's not a temporary resident for tax purposes because she is married to an Australian citizen. This means that interest received on her HSBC savings account must be included. However, foreign interest doesn't enter the "interest" box on the tax return but is included in "foreign source income". I vaguely remember that sort of thing from the last time I did an Australian tax return in 2002 (I previously lived in Australia from 1996 to 2002). However, I won't be able to submit Snork Maiden's return until I've completed mine. If my net income comes in sufficiently low we might be able to claim the spouse offset (offset = tax credit in US jargon). I won't be able to complete my tax return till I get full details of distributions from EBI and CIF in late August. But if my income is already over the limit before including those distributions we'll be able to submit Snork Maiden's return fairly soon. She should get a refund as she only worked for 9 months of the year, but has had tax withheld at the rate that would apply if she worked the full year. Unlike the US you don't actually compute on your tax return how much money you either owe the government or they owe you. But the tools are provided to allow you to estimate it.

I stopped by the ATO "shopfront" this morning and picked up a bunch of extra forms and information booklets. I still prefer to have a hard copy rather than a pdf. Also we have to submit our returns on the paper forms as electronic filing is only available if you have previously submitted a return and also the software doesn't work on Apple computers...

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