All of a sudden it’s tax time again. Yes, it’s 12 months since you started collating your receipts and giving your tax agent a call. Tax time can be quite stressful, especially because we’re all looking for ways to maximise our tax return.
Obviously, getting the basics right is the most important part of the puzzle, but, you may be able to add a little sweetener to your return by making sure you’ve claimed every possible deduction available to you.
You would be surprised to learn that, more often than not, people miss out on refunds from the ATO because they’ve failed to take advantage of a deduction that applies to them. This is particularly true if the expenses are a one-off each year, and are paid right at the beginning of the tax year—12 months on, they’ve been completely forgotten and never quite make it into the tax return.
So, in the spirit of the tax season we thought we would share with you the top 5 most frequently forgotten tax deductions, in the hope that you don’t make the same mistake.
We all know the modern workplace is highly competitive, so constant education and up-skilling are incredibly important. What you may not know is that you can actually use all of those seminars, training courses and Thursday night workshops as deductions in your tax return. As long as the education wasn’t undertaken in order to land yourself a new job, and you weren’t subsidised for it by your employer, you can claim everything from travel expenses to textbooks. For more information, visit Self Education Deductions.
Home Office Expenses
The Government is preparing us for a nimble economy. You’ll be happy to hear that the new ‘nimble’ economy could mean you do a lot more of your work from home. If you’ve already sold your boss on the idea of you working from your kitchen table, you’ll also be happy to hear that you’ve scored yourself a nice little tax deduction.
The ATO allows you to claim $0.52 for every hour you spend working at home. Just remember to keep copies of all your utility bills and every other expense related to working at home. It’s also handy to keep a record of all of the hours you have worked at home. For more information, visit Home Office Expenses.
Mobile Phone Expenses
Unless you have been giving a company phone there’s a fair chance you have used your mobile phone to make work-related calls. Whether you’re checking in with your boss, calling clients or organising meetings you can claim all of those calls on your next bill. Remember, you can only claim the calls that you make for work so make sure you keep your itemised bill or a logbook to ensure you are giving the ATO an accurate listing of your expenses. For more information, visit Typical Tax Deductions.
If you wear a uniform to work, which is basically any item of clothing that carries the logo of your employer or company, then you can claim the cost of laundering these items. The best part is, if your laundry/dry cleaning claim is under $150 no receipts or written evidence is required, making this is an absolute gimme of a deduction. For more information, visit Uniform Expenses.
Work Related Equipment and Tools Deductions
If you purchased any tools or pieces of equipment for under $300 that are related to your work you can claim an immediate deduction on your tax return. You can claim the cost of depreciation for any equipment over $300, so if you’ve bought a tablet, laptop or a brief case this year make sure you include it in your tax return. For more information, visit Claiming Tools on Tax.
If you include these commonly forgotten deductions into your tax return you’ll be surprised by how healthy your tax return will look. The best part is, with the help of OTA we can make the entire process completely stress free. So, instead of stressing about the approach of tax time look forward to it—it’s a chance to put some money in your bank account and set yourself up for the next financial year.