There is a fine line between a legitimate work-related tax deduction and something that is primarily for personal use, and knowing the difference is important at tax time. The last thing you want, is to pay back unnecessary tax claimed because of an error.
That said, there are good reasons for making claims that are out of the ordinary and this could be based on your occupation type, or due to having to work from home.
“A good example of an out of the box claim is someone who has an unusual job type,” says Fleming Stojanovski, Chief Executive Officer, CAAA. “To give you an idea, if you are a movie critic you could in fact claim movie tickets & transport, but you must also make sure you retain proof of purchase, publication or release dates, programs and transport receipts to satisfy the criteria for a legitimate claim as opposed to personal use”.
The Australian taxation Office (ATO) has become must more stringent on how they access claims. The use of data matching means that the ATO receive data from banks, financial institutes and other government agencies, which they then compare with their own information. This is to ensure that Australians are reporting their full income, which should include additional income gained from Air BNB, UBER, Rental properties or high mileage claims.
Here is a list of weird and wonderful things you may be eligible to claim this year:
- Sleeping bags. If you are a truck driver, these are a necessity for long haul trips to enable drivers to rest on the side of the road.
- If you work outdoors, this is a primary need to ensure you comply with safety regulations.
- These can be claimed up to the value of $300, and must be able to hold a laptop or other IT equipment required to carry out your work.
- Dry cleaning or Laundry. If you wear a uniform to work that has a company logo or is issued by the firm, the ATO says you can claim $1 per load for washing, drying and ironing, or dry cleaning costs if you have the receipts. The amount is reduced to 50c if you include non-work items in with your wash. You need written evidence if your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300.
- People studying subjects related to current paid employment can claim a deduction after the first $250. You also can claim travel expenses for the cost of getting to and from your place of education.
- Hand sanitiser and face masks. Taxpayers working in jobs that require physical contact or close proximity with customers may be able to claim a deduction for buying gloves, face-masks, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray. However, if you have bought these items to use at home, not work, they are not tax-deductible.
- Oversized Suits. Police detectives are able to claim them as they help to conceal their guns.
- Undercover police are able to make a claim on money used to pay off their informants.
If you would like one of our experts to lodge your personal or company tax return this year, please contact your CAAA Concierge.