Most Australian workers will be required to lodge a tax return each year. If you’ve had income tax taken from your wage or salary during the financial year, you will be required to lodge an income tax return.

Anyone earning more than the tax-free threshold, which currently stands at $18,200, is required to submit a tax return.

Here are some common FAQs that taxpayers often have.

What Am I Able To Claim As A Working From Home Deduction?

With many of us working from home during the covid-19 pandemic, there are several home office expenses you may be able to claim as tax deductions.

These include:

  • Phone and Internet expenses
  • Computer consumables (e.g. printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Home office equipment (e.g. computers, phones, printers, furniture and furnishings) – you may be able to claim either: – The full cost of the items, if it’s less than $300; or
    – The decline in value (also known as depreciation) for items over $300.

It is important to remember that you will be unable to claim things such as;

  • Home expenses, like mortgage interest, rent and rates
  • Costs of general household items, like coffee, tea and milk

You Can Claim Vehicle And Travel Expenses

While you generally can’t claim expenses for getting to and from your regular workplace, there are some work-related vehicle and travel expenses you may be able to claim.

These may include:

  • Where your work requires you to attend multiple workplaces or locations
  • Car expenses where you need your car to perform your work duties
  • Accommodation expenses when you’re required to travel for work

Am I Able To Claim My Work Uniform As A Deduction?

It is important to know that uniforms can only be claimed if the work uniform is specific and identifiable to your organisation (such as; chef’s checked pants) or if it protects you from injury while you are at work. It is important to note that you can’t claim the cost of a plain uniform or conventional clothing, such as white shirt and black pants or skirt which is commonly worn by waiters and waitresses, even if your employer tells you to wear them. If your clothing has a company logo on it, then you’re able to claim it as a tax deduction.

Can I Claim A Donation I Make To A Charity?

Organisations entitled to receive tax deductible gifts are called ‘deductible gift recipients’ (DGRs). You can only claim a tax deduction for gifts or donations to organisations that have a DGR status. Tax deductions of $2 or more can be claimed, however there are rules governing approval of claim regarding certain type of gifts.

What Tax Deductions Can I Claim In Relation To Studying And Self-Education?

You might be able to claim a deduction that is in relation to self-education expenses if your study is work-related or if you receive a taxable bonded scholarship. It is important to note that you are unable to make claims for deductions for courses unless it leads to a formal qualification, and has a sufficient connection to your current employment.

Here is a list of items that the ATO allows taxpayers to claim for self-education related purposes;

  • accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight)
  • computer consumables
  • course fees
  • decline in value for depreciating assets (cost exceeds $300)
  • purchase of equipment or technical instruments costing $300 or less
  • equipment repairs
  • fares
  • home office running costs
  • interest
  • internet usage (excluding connection fees)
  • parking fees (only for work-related claims)
  • phone calls
  • postage
  • stationery
  • student union fees
  • student services and amenities fees
  • textbooks
  • trade, professional, or academic journals
  • travel to-and-from place of education (only for work-related claims)