July 28, 2016
Tax laws in Australia are both robust and complex, so it’s critical to get things right when it comes to doing your taxes.
That said, there is no reason why you shouldn’t claim every expense you’re entitled to. To help you get a better understanding of what you can and can’t claim, we’ve put together the following list of things to help you get on the right track.
If work-related expenses total more than $300 you’ll need written evidence, like receipts, to back up your claims. So be sure to hold onto your receipts and gather them as part of your preparation for tax time.
Work related expenses - know what's available
If an expense relates directly to your job or another source of income, you can normally claim the cost on tax. There are exceptions though, like the cost of commuting to work and child care fees, so make sure you have a clear understanding of which work-related costs are tax deductible and which are not.
If you’re a tradie who works outdoors for instance, you can claim the cost of sun protection. Workers in the mining industry can usually claim the cost of protective gear. If your job calls for you to wear a uniform you can claim both the purchase price and the cost of laundering your uniform.
Consider home office expense
A growing number of people spend at least part of their week working from a home office. A tax deduction may be available for all or part of the costs involved – like your desk, chair, laptop and even part of your power or phone costs.
Bring forward deductions
If it’s likely you will earn higher income this financial year than next year, it can be useful to bring forward some tax deductible expenses. Office workers should consider buying a new briefcase before 30 June for instance. Property investors may consider completing and paying for repairs to a rental property before 30 June to claim a tax break in the current financial year.
Explore tax offsets
There is a multitude of offsets available that can reduce your tax bill. One worth exploring is the spouse super offset. Think about making an after-tax contribution to your spouse or partner’s super fund. If they don’t work or are a low income earner, you may be entitled to a tax offset of up to $540.
Invest in good advice
Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to consult a financial planner and/or accountant to review your investment strategy and help determine any tax deductions you may have missed.
So if you haven't yet done your tax return, now is the time to get all your financial documents together in the one place and get that return lodged!