Alexandra Cain Finance Writer
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. It’s an idea to 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
Many of us now use accounting software to manage our 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.
If you need to use a briefcase for work you may be able to claim this cost as well, or at least a portion of it.
Remember, to be able to claim the cost of an item you must have used it for work purposes and you must also be able to prove you purchased it by producing a receipt or proof of purchase.
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.
About the author
Alexandra Cain is a finance journalist who contributes regularly to The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.