While tax can be boring, refunds aren’t and it’s useful to know what you can and can’t claim so that return is as nice and fat as possible.
To claim a deduction for work-related expenses:
You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can’t claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.
* You can use the ATO app myDeductions tool to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job – e.g. a course in working with children with special needs.
You can’t claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help you get a new job, e.g. you can’t claim the cost of study to enable you to move from being a teacher’s aide to being a teacher.
You can claim a deduction when you:
You generally can’t claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours – e.g. parent-teacher interviews.
There are limited circumstances where you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work – e.g. a set of sporting equipment needed for a carnival. The cost of these trips is deductible only if:
If you claim car expenses, you need to keep a logbook to determine the work-related percentage, or be able to demonstrate to the ATO a reasonable calculation if you use the cents per kilometre method to claim.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job, or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear.
You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it, and even if you only wear it for work – e.g. sports clothing.
Home office expenses
You can claim a percentage of the running costs of your home office if you have to work from home, including depreciation of office equipment, work-related phone calls and internet access charges, and electricity for heating, cooling and lighting costs.
If you are required to purchase equipment for your work and it costs more than $300, you can claim a deduction for this cost spread over a number of years (depreciation).
You generally can’t claim the cost of rates, mortgage interest, rent and insurance.
Other common deductible work-related expenses
As long as the expense relates to your employment, you can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of the cost of:
You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of:
This is a general summary only. For more information, go to ato.gov.au/occupations
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