EOFY can be stressful. The pressure to file accurately and on time can lead to hasty decisions and common errors that could cost you money or even result in penalties.

While everyone knows the importance of filing their taxes, it’s equally crucial to understand what not to do during this crucial time. From procrastination to overlooking deductions, the pitfalls are numerous.

Here are some common ones to avoid.

1Don’t shop simply to get a tax deduction

Tax deductions cost money too,” says Craig Wood at Sculpt Accountants & Advisors. “If you wouldn’t otherwise buy the equipment for the business, then don’t buy it simply to get a tax deduction.”

Construction copywriter Cathy Camera agrees people shouldn’t spend for the sake of spending.

“Reducing your tax also means reducing your income so if you’re going to do so, make it worthwhile,” she says. “Invest in courses or marketing that will advance your business.”

2Don’t let things slide if they don’t look right

Marketing coach Jemimah Ashleigh, founder of the The Visibility Lab, found a “huge issue” when she went to do her tax.

“Our BAS [business activity statement] was a little lower that year and I was grateful,” she explains. “It covered some additional bills and I didn’t think much of it.”

But it turned out some funds she should have been paying tax on weren’t coded properly in her accounting software.

When her BAS was backdated, she was told she owed the ATO $11,000.

“It was an absolute nightmare. Now I check everything.”

3Don’t forget to pay your super contributions early

All superannuation contributions – for yourself and your employees – must be received by the super fund by 30 June to allow a tax deduction this financial year.

Given it can take a few days for funds to clear, you may miss out if you leave this task until the last week of June, advises Craig.

“Look to pay the contributions by 15 June to be on the safe side.”

4Don’t gloss over your entitlements

There are a wide variety of incentives and concessions that small businesses may not know about.

“Not many business owners have heard about the R&D tax incentive,” says Shammika Munugoda, founder of software development agency Apptimistic.

“Any expenses spent on research and development-type activities can be included and if approved, businesses could get up to 45% of the monies spent on those activities.”

5Don’t maximise your expenses without considering your business value

Keiran James, co-founder of BusinessSales.com.au, says business owners should consider the impact on the value of their business before maximising their expenses.

“If you’re thinking of selling your business in the next two years it might be worth paying a little bit more tax now to increase your profits so that you can charge more,” he says.

6Don’t leave everything to the last minute

Too often tax-planning is viewed as a once-off annual event; something to be done towards the end of June every year.

“A mistake I’ve made as a business owner is to leave sorting out tax until the end of June,” says Shammika. “I now maintain and manage my affairs at the end of every month.”

Wood says regular tax planning can also aid big picture decisions such as valuing a business for sale, whether to vary quarterly tax notices, or arranging a partial transfer of a business for succession planning.

“Tax is not just about getting a deduction at year end but how it fits into your overall business goal.”