As tax time advances, you want to start accumulating these receipts to make sure you can claim these deductions.
The general rule is that if you incur an expense in the course of your work and you are not reimbursed by your employer, you can make a claim.
While most people are familiar with classic claims, watch out for standard deductions if you have nothing to back them up, warned Greg Travers, Tax Manager William Buck, as the $ 300 work-related expense, $ 200. small items. and $ 150 for laundry fees.
“If you claim them, be prepared to answer questions from the ATO on how you actually spent the money,” he said.
The Australian tax office has reported that it is on the lookout for anyone attempting to claim heavy work-from-home expenses, while maintaining or increasing claims for things such as car, travel or travel expenses. ‘clothing.
Yet even among these standard claims, there are some little-known rules that people could use to their advantage.
Most people know they are entitled to tax deductions for charitable donations, but it is not common knowledge that you might have the option of spreading the donation deduction over five years through an election, a. revealed Davide Costanzo, chairman of the Moore Australia Tax Committee.
For five of Australia’s most popular professions, there are a bunch of things you should be asking for, according to Mark Chapman, director of tax communications at H&R Block.
Here’s how to get the most out of your bank on your tax return.
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Health care and social assistance
If you’re required to wear a uniform as part of your role, the cost is deductible, Chapman said, but it doesn’t end there.
“You can also claim a deduction for the cost of clothes you use on the job to protect your regular clothes from dirt or damage, such as lab coats and aprons,” he said.
“You can also claim the cost of protective gear against COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, antibacterial cleanser, or face masks.”
Protective clothing, such as non-slip footwear, is also deductible.
If you were lucky enough to be able to attend a conference during the pandemic, there are several ways to cash in.
“In addition to the cost of the conference itself, this can also include travel, meals and accommodation costs – even when the conference is abroad, although you may have to spread the costs and decline. the private component, if you’ve spent some downtime on the beach afterwards, ”Chapman said.
Professional memberships, whether for an organization like the Australian Medical Association or for a union, can be claimed.
If you’ve worked long hours and worked overtime, the good news is that you can claim the cost of purchasing meals as long as you’ve received an allowance from your employer.
For people who get their job done through an agency, the cost can also be claimed.
“Many healthcare workers will need to use their own cars for their work. This may include transportation of patients, travel between patients’ homes, or travel from one medical facility to another; all these trips are potentially claimable, ”he added.
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Wearing a uniform can be confusing depending on the type of store you work in.
“If you wear conventional clothing, the cost is not deductible,” Chapman said. “Some retail workers in fashion stores are required to wear clothing from the particular store or brand for which they are employed; but these clothes are still classified as conventional clothes, so no deduction is available. “
Work-related courses are counted as deductions and may include health and safety or first aid courses, management training, or job-related courses such as a Certificate III in retail.
If you travel between stores, you can claim the cost of travel from one place of work to another.
“This could include the time you temporarily spend working from a different store to your usual place of work – perhaps providing vacation cover – as well as trips between stores delivering inventory,” he said. he declares.
Professional and administrative workers
It’s not just a fashion statement, but a purse or briefcase can be claimed if you need it for business purposes like carrying paperwork or a laptop.
“Be careful though; the ATO can ask if a Gucci handbag is really necessary for your job, ”Chapman warned.
However, don’t assume that your suits and other work clothes are generally a deduction; it is much more specific for professionals.
“Garments specific to the legal profession, such as dresses and wigs worn in court by lawyers, are deductible,” he added, who can also claim their annual certificates of practice and professional liability insurance. .
If you travel as part of your work, you can claim expenses for your business trips such as visiting costs to customers or suppliers.
“If you use your own car, claim 72 cents per mile up to a maximum of 5,000 miles or keep a logbook and claim your actual expenses,” he advised. “You can also ask for parking, tolls and public transport if you are not using your car.”
Unfortunately, the cost of entertaining customers is not tax deductible.
“Unfortunately, you cannot claim the cost of club fees, such as the local golf or tennis club, even if you use your membership as a means of networking and meeting clients,” he noted. .
Education and training workers
The annual teacher registration fee is beneficial for deductions, as well as the costs of reference books or a professional library for the subject you teach.
“The prizes you buy to recognize your students’ achievement and encourage future performance are claimable,” added Chapman.
“Stationery, art supplies, stopwatches and computer consumables, including pens and toner cartridges, are all deductible.”
Remember that depreciation for technologies costing more than $ 300, such as computers, laptops, tablets, cellphones and printers, is deductible, as well as for items under $ 300 that can be depreciated. at once.
Lectures and courses related to your teaching can be claimed, including associated costs such as travel and textbooks, while your prep work is also a good thing to include.
“If you mark homework or prepare classes at home, you can claim home office expenses such as a proportion of Internet costs and the associated costs of any technology you use, such as computers and printers, as well. only part of the utility bills, ”he said.
“If you pay out of pocket for school trips, such as sports or camping trips, and you are not reimbursed, the expenses can be claimed. This may include the cost of meals, transportation and accommodation. “
Construction and manufacturing workers
The cost of any tool or other work-related equipment that you must purchase for your job qualifies for an immediate deduction for any tool costing up to $ 300.
“Anything more expensive than that has to be amortized over the life of the tool,” Chapman said.
You can also claim a tax deduction for the cost of insuring tools and the interest charged on financing taken out to purchase tools and equipment, he added.
The good news for construction and manufacturing workers is that you can deduct the expense of buying and maintaining your uniform if you have to wear one and it has the company logo on it.
“Regular clothes like a simple khaki shirt that you could wear at another job or outside would not qualify,” he noted.
“A khaki shirt bearing your employer’s name would be eligible. Cost or protective items such as helmets, earmuffs, safety glasses, sunglasses, sun hats and sunscreens may also be claimed. “
If you are a union member, these fees can be claimed, while fees for renewing professional licenses, registrations or subscriptions can be claimed.
“The cost of self-education courses provided by a university or TAFE, such as an apprenticeship course at a technical college, provided the course relates to your current job, are deductible,” he said. .
You can also claim overtime for meal expenses up to the amount actually spent when you have received genuine compensation under a labor law, award or agreement.