What are individual tax deductions?
If you’re an employee who is paid a salary or wages by your employer, you are classed as an individual by the ATO. Each year you are required to submit an individual tax return and the expenses you can claim on your return are called individual tax deductions.
As an employee you are eligible to claim expenses related to your particular profession. As an example, these might include exercise equipment if you’re a personal trainer, teaching aids if you’re a teacher and non-slip nursing shoes if you’re a nurse.
Aside from these occupation specific expenses, there are many other work related expenses that you may be able to claim as individual tax deductions.
Knowledge is everything
To make sure you’re getting the best possible refund and not paying too much tax, it’s important to learn what individual tax deductions you can claim. It’s also important to keep good records each time you have a work related expense.
Tax deductions can range from, motor vehicle expenses, work-related mobile or internet costs, work-related travel costs such as a flight to attend a seminar, the cost of uniforms and even charity donations.
So what individual tax deductions can you claim?
Below is a list of common individual tax deductions that you may be able to claim; some of them may be a surprise to you. But remember, you can only claim genuine expenses that you have a receipt or other evidence for. The ATO is very good at picking up on claims that don’t seem quite right and if you’re caught out you could be in for a very hefty fine.
PLEASE NOTE: Not everyone can claim all of these expenses as individual tax deductions. This is because different circumstances affect what you can and can’t claim. Your tax agent will be able to advise what you are entitled to.
Individual tax deductions you may be able to claim:
- Accounting fees including tax return preparation
- Professional membership fees
- Union Fees
- Income Protection
- Course fees including text books (note: HELP/HECS repayments are not tax deductible)
- Professional libraries and work related magazines
- Calculators and electronic organisers
- Computer related consumables
- Computers and laptops
- Internet usage (excluding connection fees)
- Ipad & similar small electronic equipment
- Phone – Home Office + Mobile + phone accessories
- Briefcases and carry-bags
- Safety equipment – e.g. sunscreens, hard hats, harnesses, safety glasses
- Sunglasses (if you work outside)
- Technical instruments
- Tools of trade
- Decline in Value for depreciating assets (where cost exceeds $300)
- Tolls – where relevant to work related travel
- Motor Vehicle Expenses-e.g. fuel
- Parking Fees
- Public transport fares
- General travel expenses, including flights, taxis etc.
- Accommodation and meals (if away from home overnight)
- Desks chairs and other office furnishings
- Home Office running costs
- Protective clothing
- Uniforms (with logo)
- Laundry of work uniform or protective clothing
- Charity Donations
Getting in the habit:
Being organised with your expenses is a good habit to get into. So make sure you keep a clear record of your expenses, such as an excel sheet or even a note pad if you prefer. Keep your receipts all in the same, safe place and split them into months so they are easier to provide at tax time. Separate envelopes or folders is the simplest way to separate them – just write the month on the outside and you’ll easily keep track.
TOP TIP: Photograph each receipt when you get it as many have a tendency to fade. This means any hard to read receipts can still be claimed and you have an electronic back up on your computer. Etax Local provide all clients with secure access to our Client Portal so securely uploading and storing your receipts and other personal documents is simple.