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5 things you didn’t know you could claim on tax.

July 6th, 2016


Tax time is almost upon us, which could mean a welcome windfall could be just around the corner. But if you’re not sure whether you’ll receive a tax cheque or bill, it’s time to take action.

Before you scramble through that shoebox full of receipts, check out our list of items you may not know you could claim on tax. It may help fatten up that tax refund…or at the very least, lower that nasty tax bill.

Safety clothing

People who work outdoors can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, replacing or maintaining protective clothing worn at work. This can include fire resistant clothing, steel-capped boots, safety coloured vests or overalls, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers.

Of course, the cost of uniforms can also be claimed. These don’t need to be compulsory uniforms, just so long as they are unique to the organisation you work for.

The ATO will also allow claims for the costs associated with cleaning clothes and items for outdoor workers, such as sunscreen and sun glasses. But for anything above $150, you will have to cough up diary entries and receipts.

Donations…even the small ones!        

If you think you haven’t donated much money this year, you might be surprised. Do you have a sponsor child? And did you make any one-off donations at Christmas? These good deeds all count as tax-deductible expenses.

And did you donate any spare change to bushfire and flood roadside tin-rattlers? If you made a donated of more than $2, the ATO allows you to claim up to $10 without a receipt.

Working from home expenses

You don’t need to have a home office to claim things like computer, iPad and phone costs as well as stationery costs. All you need is a dedicated workspace and proof you work from home. This is perfect for employees who are on call when away from the workplace or who are expected to respond to incoming emails from either their employer or clients.

Like everything else you claim, you’ll need to have receipts to prove these costs. These could be in the form of phone and internet bills, as well as bank statements. And of course, you can only claim for the work-related expenses, not personal use.

Union fees

If you’re a member of a union or subscribe to a trade, business or professional association, you can claim your fees. Most unions help out their members by sending annual statements of the fees or subscriptions paid.

Tools of the trade

Any tools or equipment you buy that helps you earn your income is a tax deduction. This includes hardhats, safety glasses and power tools. You can also claim the cost of insurance, any repairs and any interest on money borrowed to buy the tools.

The catch is if these tools are used for both work and personal use, you can only claim a portion of the cost.

For more information, check the ATO website, which has deduction information for specific industries and occupations, from factory workers to truck drivers.

First Super commissioned The New Daily to research and write this article. The views expressed are of The New Daily.

This article was issued by First Super Pty Ltd (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988), as Trustee of the First Super superannuation fund (ABN 56 286 625 181). It does not consider your personal circumstances and may not be relied on as financial advice. Content was accurate at the date of issue, but may subsequently change.