The EOFY has come and gone and you might now be wondering if there’s anything you purchased last financial year that could qualify as a legitimate tax deduction.
Well, depending on your occupation did you know you could potentially include the threads or accessories you wear at work in your tax return? Get those receipts ready and read on for a rundown of wearable items that are worth telling the taxman about (if your situation fits the bill, of course)…
According to the ATO, around 8.3 million people jot down work-related clothing expenses in their tax returns every year, making up more than HALF of the taxpayer population. Legit work uniforms are…
- Unique: They’re made and designed especially for your employer
- Distinctive: They have a visible logos permanently attached and members of the public cannot buy them
Your uniform doesn’t have to be compulsory. That said, if you want to claim your uniform on non-compulsory grounds, the design must already be registered (by your employer) with AusIndustry. While there isn’t a maximum claim amount to consider, if the ATO comes knocking you may get asked to provide receipts. You can also claim dry-cleaning and laundry expenses, but if your laundry claims exceed $150 or your work-related claims in total are worth more than $300, you’ll need to supply the ATO written documentation to support your claim.
What’s not legit: Let’s say you work in at a fashion retailer and you’re required to wear new season garments to help sell the clothes. While on the plus side you’ll may get a staff discount on what you buy, your threads won’t qualify as a tax-deductible work uniform because they’re being sold in the shops.
In 2016 an ATO spokesperson confirmed that handbags just like briefcases can be tax deductible in certain situations. But don’t get too excited, some factors can rule your leathery companion out of the tax equation. Whether you’re looking to claim a handbag, “manbag”, briefcase or satchel you purchased in the last financial year, it must…
- Get used for work purposes only (meaning you can’t take it with you to Sunday brunch)
- Carry essential items that allow you to do your job (ie. laptop, iPad, documents and folders)
Another must-know: While you can make a tax deductible claim a on handbag if the price tag was $300 or less without a receipt, you may want to keep a logbook of when and how you’ve been using it to prove your case if required by the ATO down the track. If your bag set you back more than $300 you’ll need to depreciate the value of it over time instead and provide a receipt if prompted by the ATO.
Did your eyes light up when you read this? Mine too, until I found out my job behind a desk ruled me out of this tax deduction. So unless your profession requires a specific pair of shoes for you to do your job properly, like steel capped boots if you’re a manual labourer, chances are you’ll have to pay for all the footwear you wear to work, tax included. So let’s drill down to the make or break part…
The taxman says tax deductible work shoes must protect you from getting injured or ill on the job (such as non-slip nurse’s shoes)
Prevent damage to your ordinary clothes when you’re at work
Sunnies + Accessories
If you make money outdoors you can probably claim on UV protective gear like sunnies and a sunhat. The same goes for sunscreen including foundation with SPF in it too. The rules are that…
- Your sunnies or sunhat must be protective
- Required in your line of work for health and safety reasons
Example: Working on the field as a geologist would probably justify submitting a tax deductible claim on your shades.
If you are expecting a bumper tax return this financial year, check out our blog on the best budget-friendly ways to spend your tax refund and keep your budget healthy.