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With tax time nearly upon us, you might be interested in the following deduction tips, which may help increase the amount of money you get back.

Lots of things can affect your tax return, including sources of income from work, investments and government assistance, including any JobSeeker payments you may have received during the financial year.

Other factors that can play a part, include whether you have work-related expenses, such as from travel, equipment, clothing or what you might’ve forked out if you’ve been working from home.

Here’s a quick rundown of things you could consider when preparing, lodging and hopefully maximising your tax return for the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

What tax deductions could you claim when you lodge your tax return?

Most tax deductions will be work related. However, a work-related expense will only be deductible if you weren’t reimbursed by your employer, it directly relates to you earning an income, and you have a record, such as a receipt (unless the amount you’re claiming is $300 or less, in some instances).

In general, to identify expenses that may be acceptable as tax deductions, you should consider:

  • Was the expense directly related to your work or income-generating activity?
  • Did you spend the money, and you weren’t reimbursed by your employer?
  • Do you have an official record of the expense – e.g. receipt or bank statement?

If the expense was for both work and personal use (e.g. home internet), you need to determine the portion of the expense related to your work or income-generating activity.

Work-related tax deductions may include:

1.    Home office expenses

With many of us working from home during the coronavirus crisis, there are several home office expenses you may be able to claim as tax deductions. These include:

  • Phone and Internet expenses
  • Computer consumables (e.g. printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Home office equipment (e.g. computers, phones, printers, furniture and furnishings) – you may be able to claim either: 
     - The full cost of the items, if it’s less than $300 or
     - The decline in value (also known as depreciation) for items over $300.

Keep in mind that most people aren’t able to claim:

  • Home expenses, like mortgage interest, rent and rates
  • Costs of general household items, like coffee, tea and milk

There are certain criteria you should consider before you claim an amount for home office expenses in your tax return.

For example, you should consider whether you can claim the temporary ATO-approved shortcut method (of 80 cents per hour for all additional running expenses) for the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 in the 2019-20 income year and from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021 for the 2020-21 income year.

Other calculation methods may also be acceptable and more appropriate to your circumstances. You should consider which method is best for you and the criteria you need to meet to claim a deduction.

Find out more:https://www.ato.gov.au/General/COVID-19/Support-for-individuals-and-employees/Employees-working-from-home/

2. Vehicle and travel expenses

While you generally can’t claim expenses for getting to and from your regular workplace, there are some work-related vehicle and travel expenses you may be able to claim. These include:

  • Where your work requires you to attend multiple workplaces or locations
  • Car expenses where you need your car to perform your work duties
  • Accommodation expenses when you’re required to travel for work

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Transport-and-travel-expenses/

3. Education

You may be able to claim a deduction for specific expenses related to your self-education or study, if the education is relevant to earning your income. Self-education and study expenses are the costs you incur to take a study course at a school, college, university or other recognized place of education.

If you work while you study and incur self-education expenses, you may be eligible to claim a deduction. You may also be eligible if you receive a taxable scholarship.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/In-detail/Education-and-study/

4. Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning

If you bought occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing or work uniforms specifically related to your job, you may be able to claim these costs, as well as related cleaning costs, as work-related expenses. However, you’re unlikely to be able to claim costs for conventional clothing or non-compulsory work uniforms.

To claim these costs as tax deductions, you need to have written evidence of these costs, such as diary entries and receipts

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/clothing,-laundry-and-dry-cleaning-expenses/

5. Industry-related deductions

You may also claim tax deductions for work-related expenses specifically related to your occupation and industry.

For better understanding on occupation related expenses https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Occupation-and-industry-specific-guides/

6. Other work-related expenses

There are other work-related expenses you may be able to claim as tax-deductible expenses, depending on your work and individual circumstances. Expenses to consider include:

  • Books, periodicals and digital information subscriptions
  • Safety goggles and protective sunglasses
  • Overtime meals
  • Union fees, subscriptions to associations and tax agent fees

7. Gifts and donations

If you gave a gift or donation to an organization (e.g. your favorite charity), you may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, there are specific rules that apply.  Generally, you can claim any donation you made above $2 if it was to a registered charity. For gifts, different rules apply depending on the type of gift.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/other-deductions/gifts-and-donations/

8. Investment income

You may be able to claim investment income tax deductions if you’ve received:

  • Interest payments on your savings
  • Dividends from your investments in shares
  • Rental payments from an investment property
  • Another type of investment income

If you’ve received any of these, you could be entitled to claim for costs related to this income, such as interest charged on money borrowed to buy stocks or rental properties.

You may also be able to claim money you paid for investment advice.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/other-deductions/interest,-dividend-and-other-investment-income-deductions/

9. Personal super contribution claim

You may be able to claim a deduction for personal super contributions you make to a complying super fund or retirement savings account (RSA).To claim (or vary) a deduction for personal super contributions, you must provide a valid notice of intent to your super fund or RSA provider. Your fund must acknowledge the notice in writing.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Other-deductions/Personal-super-contributions/

Book your appointment with our tax expert for better outcome with your tax return. Look forward to seeing you during this tax season.

With tax time nearly upon us, you might be interested in the following deduction tips, which may help increase the amount of money you get back.

Lots of things can affect your tax return, including sources of income from work, investments and government assistance, including any JobSeeker payments you may have received during the financial year.

Other factors that can play a part, include whether you have work-related expenses, such as from travel, equipment, clothing or what you might’ve forked out if you’ve been working from home.

Here’s a quick rundown of things you could consider when preparing, lodging and hopefully maximising your tax return for the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

What tax deductions could you claim when you lodge your tax return?

Most tax deductions will be work related. However, a work-related expense will only be deductible if you weren’t reimbursed by your employer, it directly relates to you earning an income, and you have a record, such as a receipt (unless the amount you’re claiming is $300 or less, in some instances).

In general, to identify expenses that may be acceptable as tax deductions, you should consider:

  • Was the expense directly related to your work or income-generating activity?
  • Did you spend the money, and you weren’t reimbursed by your employer?
  • Do you have an official record of the expense – e.g. receipt or bank statement?

If the expense was for both work and personal use (e.g. home internet), you need to determine the portion of the expense related to your work or income-generating activity.

Work-related tax deductions may include:

1.    Home office expenses

With many of us working from home during the coronavirus crisis, there are several home office expenses you may be able to claim as tax deductions. These include:

  • Phone and Internet expenses
  • Computer consumables (e.g. printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Home office equipment (e.g. computers, phones, printers, furniture and furnishings) – you may be able to claim either: 
     - The full cost of the items, if it’s less than $300 or
     - The decline in value (also known as depreciation) for items over $300.

Keep in mind that most people aren’t able to claim:

  • Home expenses, like mortgage interest, rent and rates
  • Costs of general household items, like coffee, tea and milk

There are certain criteria you should consider before you claim an amount for home office expenses in your tax return.

For example, you should consider whether you can claim the temporary ATO-approved shortcut method (of 80 cents per hour for all additional running expenses) for the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 in the 2019-20 income year and from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021 for the 2020-21 income year.

Other calculation methods may also be acceptable and more appropriate to your circumstances. You should consider which method is best for you and the criteria you need to meet to claim a deduction.

Find out more:https://www.ato.gov.au/General/COVID-19/Support-for-individuals-and-employees/Employees-working-from-home/

2. Vehicle and travel expenses

While you generally can’t claim expenses for getting to and from your regular workplace, there are some work-related vehicle and travel expenses you may be able to claim. These include:

  • Where your work requires you to attend multiple workplaces or locations
  • Car expenses where you need your car to perform your work duties
  • Accommodation expenses when you’re required to travel for work

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Transport-and-travel-expenses/

3. Education

You may be able to claim a deduction for specific expenses related to your self-education or study, if the education is relevant to earning your income. Self-education and study expenses are the costs you incur to take a study course at a school, college, university or other recognized place of education.

If you work while you study and incur self-education expenses, you may be eligible to claim a deduction. You may also be eligible if you receive a taxable scholarship.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/In-detail/Education-and-study/

4. Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning

If you bought occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing or work uniforms specifically related to your job, you may be able to claim these costs, as well as related cleaning costs, as work-related expenses. However, you’re unlikely to be able to claim costs for conventional clothing or non-compulsory work uniforms.

To claim these costs as tax deductions, you need to have written evidence of these costs, such as diary entries and receipts

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/clothing,-laundry-and-dry-cleaning-expenses/

5. Industry-related deductions

You may also claim tax deductions for work-related expenses specifically related to your occupation and industry.

For better understanding on occupation related expenses https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Occupation-and-industry-specific-guides/

6. Other work-related expenses

There are other work-related expenses you may be able to claim as tax-deductible expenses, depending on your work and individual circumstances. Expenses to consider include:

  • Books, periodicals and digital information subscriptions
  • Safety goggles and protective sunglasses
  • Overtime meals
  • Union fees, subscriptions to associations and tax agent fees

7. Gifts and donations

If you gave a gift or donation to an organization (e.g. your favorite charity), you may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, there are specific rules that apply.  Generally, you can claim any donation you made above $2 if it was to a registered charity. For gifts, different rules apply depending on the type of gift.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/other-deductions/gifts-and-donations/

8. Investment income

You may be able to claim investment income tax deductions if you’ve received:

  • Interest payments on your savings
  • Dividends from your investments in shares
  • Rental payments from an investment property
  • Another type of investment income

If you’ve received any of these, you could be entitled to claim for costs related to this income, such as interest charged on money borrowed to buy stocks or rental properties.

You may also be able to claim money you paid for investment advice.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/other-deductions/interest,-dividend-and-other-investment-income-deductions/

9. Personal super contribution claim

You may be able to claim a deduction for personal super contributions you make to a complying super fund or retirement savings account (RSA).To claim (or vary) a deduction for personal super contributions, you must provide a valid notice of intent to your super fund or RSA provider. Your fund must acknowledge the notice in writing.

Find out more: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Other-deductions/Personal-super-contributions/

Book your appointment with our tax expert for better outcome with your tax return. Look forward to seeing you during this tax season.

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