The 31st of October isn’t just Halloween, it’s also the last day to lodge your tax return if you decided to do it yourself this year.
Preparing your tax return can be a bit of a nightmare worthy of Halloween but not for you because you’ve read our earlier Monday Moneyvator blog and have prepared your tax return documents (aka group certificate, private health insurance) well in advance.
This is our follow up blog that runs through some of the things you could claim to maximise your tax deductions by the time the taxman arrives on October 31st:
1. Car transport
Generally the costs of driving to and from your home and work are not claimable but if you’re using your car for work purposes throughout the day, for instance if you’re a tradesman, you can claim associated costs providing you’ve maintained a logbook of all your trips and other costs such as tolls and petrol. Even if you don’t have a logbook you can still claim but it is limited to a set amount of cents per kilometer up to 5,000 kms.
Mozo tip: To ensure you receive a bumper tax return next year, download the ATO’s myDeductions app which you can use to record and easily keep track of all your car trips.
2. Home office expenses
You don’t need to be self employed to claim on your home office, by simply using your computer or phone for work purposes, you may be eligible for a deduction on costs for your home office equipment as well as running costs such as lighting, heating and cooling and the costs of repair and cleaning.
To maximise your claim on your home office expenses you will need to provide receipts of your expenses (including receipts for depreciating assets you’ve purchased) and itemised phone accounts to identify work related calls.
3. Self education expenses
If you’re studying a course that is work related or you’ve received a taxable bonded scholarship, you may be eligible for self education expenses such as course fees, phone calls and accommodation and meals if you’re away from home overnight. When you make a claim on your self education expenses, you’ll generally need to provide receipts for expenses such as course fees, textbooks and stationery. You can see if you’re eligible to claim a deduction for your self education expenses by using the ATO’s self education eligibility tool here.
4. Work gear
If you wear a uniform, protective clothing such as steel capped boots and sun protection items such as sunscreen or sunglasses to work, these costs are generally claimable. You should take the time to get your receipts prepared to show how much you’ve paid for your uniform and protective clothing as well as any dry cleaning costs.
5. Tools and equipment
From calculators and computers to hand tools and filing cabinets, you can claim a deduction for some or all of the costs of these items when you use them for work purposes. If you use an item for both work and private purposes, you need to keep a record that shows how much the item was used towards each purpose. Say, you use your computer for both work and private purposes for half of the time, you can only deduct 50% of the cost.
Once you’ve got your tax deductions sorted, be sure to check out Mozo’s 5 thrifty tips for spending your tax return.