Many Australians miss out on tax deductions every year, simply because they are unaware of the possibilities. This is understandable because some of the potential deductions you can claim are actually pretty random and out there!
The possibilities are endless, but there are just a few important boxes to tick:
- You must have record to prove it
- You must have spent the money yourself
- You must not have been reimbursed for the cost
- The expense must be related to your job or other income-generating activity
- If the expense you are claiming is for both work and private purposes, you can only claim the work portion of the cost.
With that out of the way, here are the top 5 tax deductions that may surprise you!
1. Handbags and man-bags
Do you take a handbag or man-bag to work every day? Since 2016, the ATO has allowed taxpayers to legitimately claim your handbags, man-bags or briefcases, as long as you can demonstrate that the item is used for work purposes.
Bags used for work purposed will generally be used to carry phones, iPads, laptops, diaries, calculators, stationery and other work-related items. If you’re an employee and you buy a bag for work that costs less than $300, you can claim an immediate deduction for the percentage you’re using it for work. However, if you’re a little bit fancy and your bag costs more than $300, you’ll need to depreciate the bag over about 3 years.
2. Garden gnomes
A cool and quirky garden can be a real draw card for prospective tenants, but did you know that property investors can claim items such as garden gnomes as a deduction? So go ahead and add some gnome-ish fun for your tenants! Property investors can also claim things like heated towel rails, locks and fish tanks; the list of random deductions for property investors can help you claim more than $1500 in extra cash flow at tax time!
Items for your property that under $300 can also be written off immediately. What’s even cooler is that this 300 limit is per owner – meaning if there are two owners, the immediately deductible limit is a combined $600!
You’re not alone – many people end up taking their work home with them. Even if you don’t officially work from home and don’t want to claim comprehensive home office expenses, you can still claim the electricity used when doing work at home.
You can claim a fixed rate of 52c per hour on your home electricity use, which certainly adds up over an entire year! All you have to do is remember to keep clear and accurate records of the hours you spend working at home, and TaxTank can help you with that!
4. Sunscreen and makeup
If you work outdoors, you can claim a deduction for protecting your largest organ from our powerful Australia sunshine. That’s right – you can slip, slop, slap and claim a deduction for your sunscreen!
Make-up with sun protection (regardless of how low the SPF is) is also tax-deductible if your job requires you to work outdoors. With this information, there is now even more reason to choose cosmetics that protect your skin.
Reading up on the latest news in your industry will not only pay off for your career, but it can also pay off at tax time. If you subscribe to work-related magazines, newspapers and journals, you may be able to claim these expenses. Some occupations, such as those in the media industry, can even claim a deduction for their pay-TV subscriptions.
You’d be surprised at the dent magazines and subscriptions can make in your return. If you’re an investor, for example, financial publications and research services you pay for will be claimable.
If you’re thinking of subscribing to mags associated with your line of work, think ahead and prepay next year’s fees before June 30 to claim your deduction now!
While some of these items may seem small on their own, once they’re all added up together, you could save a decent amount of money at tax time. Accounting fees are also a tax deduction, so why not leave leave all these crazy deductions in the hands of an expert? That way you can say goodbye to tax anxiety and get your maximum legal refund!
Are you keeping proper records?
When it comes to claiming deductions, the ATO not only requires you to provide evidence of your spending, but you also have to accurately apportion the cost between your work and private usage.
Are you keeping proper records to make sure you get the best possible tax refund? TankTank effortlessly keeps your receipts organised and all in one place, so there’s no need for your accountant to be chasing you for important documents and information at the end of the financial year. Sign up for free and discover all the ways TaxTank can transform your relationship with tax.