It’s almost tax time, which means now’s the time to take a look at your expenses and make sure you are claiming all allowable business costs in your tax return.
Here, we review some of the less common ones to make sure you’re not paying too much tax.
1. Your tech devices
If you use your smart phone or a tablet for work purposes – even after hours – you may be eligible for a tax deduction on the depreciation of these devices. Talk to a tax agent about how much you can claim. It’s also worth checking the ATO’s website so you can ensure you stay within the rules.
This is one of the most easily forgotten tax deductions because we make so many incidental donations to charities – raffles, school causes and more. It’s an idea to keep a shoebox record of these small donations for which you don’t have an electronic record to make sure you’re not missing out on claiming a deduction for these at the end of the year. The ATO has plenty of information here.
3. Laundry expenses
It is possible to claim the cost of washing work uniforms – as long as your employer mandates that you need to wear a uniform or protective clothing at work. You may be able to claim washing costs such as washing powder and also expenses such as dry cleaning. But check with a tax agent to make sure you’re within the rules. The ATO has guidelines you can check on this. If you’re not wearing a uniform, you probably can’t claim these costs.
4. Bookkeeping items
Loads of small business owners use accounting software like Xero to manage their tax affairs. If you have paid for a software license to help you do this, this might also be an eligible tax deduction. You can also claim the cost of your bookkeeper, if you have one. The ATO has a comprehensive explanation of the right way to claim the cost of managing your tax affairs.
5. Your bills
If you've found yourself working from home then you might be eligible to claim some of your bills that come along with being at home instead of in the office. Talk to a tax agent or give the ATO a call but you can usually claim a portion of your electricity and gas bills, phone and internet costs and things like your desk and chair.
Please note that this article is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs.