Top 9 Tax Deductions - 2020
Updated: Jun 11
Well, it’s that time of year again. As we stir from hibernation to rifle through our bottom draws, check out the nine common expense claims below, so you know exactly which receipts you should be looking high and low for.
Can you remember the good old days when you flew all around for work-related workshops and conferences? Yeah us neither. Anyway, if you got up to these kinds of activities, chances are at least a portion of your taxis/uber, flights and accommodation can be claimed. A word of caution though – if you flew to Sydney to visit those in-laws you have not seen for five years and ducked out for a workshop while you were there, not much of your travel expenses are likely to be work-related.
2. Education and Professional Development
Also, don’t forget to claim the actual workshop or training fees for any part your employer did not pay or reimburse you for. Networking events? Seminars? Conferences? If you paid for them and they are necessary for your job – bring those receipts!
3. Uniforms and Work-Wear
Back when we weren’t wearing our dressing gowns and slippers, did you wear a work uniform? If so, let’s have a look at the most common categories that successful uniform claims fall into:
Uniforms with logos. If you purchase an item of uniform with a registered logo design attached it – you can claim the amount for this purchase.
Protective wear. If an item of your uniform is protective in some way – for example safety glasses or steal capped boots – you can claim the amount for this purchase.
Occupational specific uniforms. Uniform items like a chief’s checked apron or a swimming instructor’s bathing trunks or a bartender’s black trousers can all be claimed as occupational specific uniform.
4. Union Fees
Are you a union member? Often, the total monthly fees you pay for this are added up and reported on your payment summary – but don't count on it. You might need to keep an eye out for the yearly fee summary that the union often emails out. Or even check to see what the monthly amount being deducted from your bank account.
5. Registrations, Memberships, and Subscriptions
Are you a part of a professional body or require certain registrations to do your job? For example, teacher registration as a teacher, or a membership to the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) as a marketing professional. If so, chances are you have some of these invoices to chase up.
Receipts for these guys are the tradie’s friend come tax time. A word of caution though. If your tool is worth $300 or more or is part of a set that comes to a total cost of $300 or greater – you cannot claim the total amount in the current year. We will have to depreciate the item over its useful live. By the way, a 'set' counts as things that are reasonable to be together (e.g. a drill bit and a drill, even if they are purchased separately).
7. Did You Work From Home?
Well. Need we ask? Anyway, to make a successful home office claim, you used to have to have a separate office space, and the simplest method was to claim 45c for every hour worked in it. However, with many of us recently having to work on the end of the couch with a laptop perched on our knee, these rules were relaxed from 1st of March 2020. Everyone is entitled to claim 80c per hour for any paid time spend working from home over these months.
8. Telephone and Internet
Be careful with claiming your personal phone for work purposes. If you decide to go for it, make sure it is a conservative and reasonable percentage that you can justify with the nature of your job. There doubtless is a marginal amount of your download and upload on your monthly home plan that does relate to work – but probably not much, compared to what you are racking up on Netflix.
9. Motor Vehicle Claims
This one is a doozy. With the tax office cracking down with audits of this type of claim, it pays to make sure it is done right. We have done up a separate blog post on this to make sure you tick all the boxes.
Hopefully, we have helped your find the sweet spot for what you can and cannot claim - if you have more questions, or would like to book in an appointment time, give our team a buzz or shoot us an email.
0475 737 162 or firstname.lastname@example.org