There are plenty of valuable tax deductions available to Australian taxpayers who are willing to put in some extra effort to find out what can be claimed. The more you are able to claim the more money you will back on your tax return.
“There are a lot of tax deductions that are forgotten about. Work from home allowance and accurate record keeping like a log book or diary is the starting one. Anything without receipts, just take a photo at the time to avoid the problem,” says Craig Dangar from Vault Accountants.
“Without a logbook there is very little you can claim. This is more a what can’t you claim, simple one is not home to work or work to home. Furthermore, you are unable to make a claim if the driving is for personal use, just remember the ATO also has a calendar and will check what you have claimed, we have helped a person who tried to self-claim work travel on Good Friday, it did not go well,” says Craig Dangar.
Education related expenses are another common area that has plenty of tax deductions available. Courses that are related to the current work and courses that will help you advance in your current career are in most cases tax deductable.
However, there are plenty of education related expenses that are not able to be claimed.
“Future career study and self-improvement is not tax deductable. The $20,000 property education course is definitely not claimable. To play it safe make sure you ask a tax agent before you start to make a claim,” says Craig Dangar.
During the covid-19 pandemic working from home became a more common occurrence and as a result of this there has been a huge increase in Australian workers trying to claim tax deductions for working from home related expenses that cannot always be claimed.
“There are plenty of working from home expenses that taxpayers are unable to claim as a tax deduction but often mistakenly try to claim. The Xbox as technology, Spotify account, your new tv and your streaming services. None of these can be claimed,” says Craig Dangar.
In terms of clothing related tax deductions compulsory work uniform or safety equipment can be claimed. To be eligible to be claimed the work uniform must be branded and show the logo of the business you are employed by. In contrast you are unable to claim a plain black t-shirt as a tax deduction.
In terms of investment properties there are plenty of common tax deductions that property owners are entitled to if they are renting out their property to other people to live in. These tax deductions include; depreciation, agents fees and repairs. These are the most common deductions.
“Where to start, there are plenty of things that taxpayers try to claim that they are unable to claim. Attempting to claim capital improvements as repairs, claiming home expenses against the rental property and home mortgage interest against the investment property,” says Craig Dangar.
Over the past 12 months Craig Dangar says that there have been less changes in regards to what can and can’t be claimed but there are definitely more clearer interpretations available for taxpayers who are unsure if something they hope to claim can genuinely be claimed as a tax deduction.
“The ATO got heavy push back on cutting down on the laundry claim a few years ago, but there was clear misunderstanding of the rules, the ATO generally uses a strong education approach which is the regular change. It is important for taxpayers to play it safe and to avoid trying to claim any radical deductions for items that seem unclaimable. If doesn’t sound right, chances are it isn’t. Don’t risk it and ask for help (even from the ATO) rather than having a guess,” says Craig Dangar.
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