There are a range of expenses that can be legally claimed back at tax time.
Nobody wants to pay more tax than they have to, but understanding the maze of tax laws can be very confusing. Once you’ve gathered all your paperwork, it’s important to take a minute and understand exactly what you can claim to help boost your return.
You can claim back many expenses that relate to your work. What can be claimed varies between occupations, check ATO site for specific occupations, and you can’t claim anything that your employer has already reimbursed you for. Some common expenses include:
- membership of professional associations and unions
- subscriptions to professional journals
- reference books
- tools and equipment
- special clothing or uniforms
- travel and self-education
If your work-related expenses total less than $300, you don’t need to provide written evidence, though you may be asked to show how you worked out your claim. If you are claiming more than $300 it’s time to get out the shoe-box of last year’s receipts.
Other expenses you may be able to claim
There are a range of other expenses you may be able to claim and understanding what these are could save you a lot of money. The following are some of the more common claimable expenses and link through to relevant [ato.gov.au|ato.gov.au pages]:
- Investments (including property, shares and savings accounts)
- Supporting a family (including income tax offsets and the education tax refund)
- Charitable donations
- Car expenses
- Management of your tax affairs by accountants or lawyers
- Tax losses from earlier years
- Non-employer sponsored super contributions
- Capital gains and losses
Get it right
When you are preparing your tax return it’s important to be aware of the rules and steer clear of claims that could land you in hot water. Having proof to back up your claims is important as under our tax laws you are assumed guilty until you prove your own innocence.
If your work expenses or investments are complicated it may be worth seeking the help of a qualified tax accountant. If you have any further questions on your tax deductions visit the Tax Office website which has a large amount of helpful information.