Ahead of the end of the financial year, the Australian Tax Office have released a list of deductions you probably shouldn’t claim.
Biggest issue? People claiming $300 of ‘miscellaneous work expenses’; the maximum you can claim before needing to provide receipts.
Yes in theory, you can claim for anything that you spend for your work but you must claim the right things for the right amounts.
“[The ATO] releases statistics every year for what people are claiming. There have not really been any substantial increase in work-related deductions recently, But the ATO are still cracking down hard
11 deductions you (probably) can’t claim
Here’s a list of things you probably can’t claim on your tax return:
- Trips between home and work. Generally you can’t claim a deduction for these because they’re considered private travel.
- Car expenses for transporting bulky tools or equipment, unless:
- you need to use your bulky tools to do your job
- your employer requires you to transport this equipment
- there is no secure area to store the equipment at work.
- Car expenses that have been salary sacrificed.
- Meal expenses for travel, unless you were required to work away from home overnight.
- Private travel, so if you take a work trip that includes personal travel you can only claim the work-related portion.
- Everyday clothes you bought to wear to work (eg, a suit or black pants), even if your employer requires you to wear them.
- A flat rate for cleaning eligible work clothes without being able to show how you calculated the cost.
- Higher education contributions charged through the HELP scheme.
- Self-education expenses when the study doesn’t have a direct connection to your current employment – your future or dream jobs don’t count.
- Private use of phone or internet expenses – only the work-related portion counts.
- Up-front deductions for tools and equipment that cost more than $300. However, you can spread your deduction claim over a number of years. That’s called depreciation.
The good thing is that there’s still a heap of stuff that’s perfectly fine for you to claim as a tax deduction. That includes:
- Union fees
- Charitable donations over $2
- Professional organisation fees
- Work-related subscriptions (e.g. medical or law journals)
- Travel during the work day (e.g. between work sites)
- Any specialty work clothing or uniforms (e.g. Hi-Viz gear or a chef’s uniform)
- A portion of your household bills if you work from home.