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Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

Commonly overlooked Tax Deductions July 2016When tax time comes around, it literally pays to know your stuff. To make sure you're claiming everything that you're eligible for, let’s shine the spotlight on a number of oft-forgotten potential tax deductions. Of course, they won't all apply to you, as claimable items vary based on the type of work you do and other personal circumstances. While some of these may seem insignificant individually, the sum of these parts could potentially save you a decent amount of money! Home office expenses If you…
  • Work entirely from home — either self-employed or as a home-based employee — you can claim the “occupancy cost” of your home office space. These expenses can include: computer hardware, software, furniture, lighting, heating/cooling costs as well as a portion of your rent/mortgage and electricity.
  • Only sometimes work from home — for instance, checking and responding to work emails in the evening or on the weekend — you may be able to claim the cost of using your personal computer as a percentage of the total household use.
Mobile phone & internet expenses If you…
  • Use your personal mobile phone for work — to make or receive calls from clients or other staff members — you can claim these as a deduction.
  • Connect to your home internet to deal with work-related matters, such as responding to work emails, you can also claim a proportion of those costs.
Work-related car expenses If you use your personal car for work-related reasons (the Australian Taxation Office defines this as kilometres travelled — aside from driving to and from work — while earning your income), you can usually claim fuel and maintenance costs as a tax deduction. It's wise to keep a logbook of kilometres travelled, as well as receipts for petrol, insurance, registration, servicing and lease costs. Self-education expenses If you do a course to maintain or improve job skills, then you’re entitled to a tax deduction for related expenses, including:
  • Textbooks and professional/trade journals
  • Stationery and photocopying
  • Student services fees
  • Travel, accommodation and meals
Professional memberships & subscriptions If you’re a member of a trade association as part of your work, you can claim for the registration amount, as well as what you pay in subscriptions to job-related magazines, journals and newspapers. Work clothing & laundry expenses If you wear a uniform or protective clothing that’s specific to your occupation (including sunglasses if your job requires you to work outside for prolonged periods of time), you can claim laundry as a tax deduction. Charitable donations If you donate $2 or more to a registered charity and have a receipt as proof, you can claim it. Cost of managing tax affairs If you pay for a tax professional to complete last year’s tax return, you can claim a deduction for the cost in this year’s return. You can also claim a deduction for any travel costs incurred getting to and from the agent. If you pay for any tax advice during the year, that too is deductible. Remember, Moneysoft can help you at tax time. You can assign transactions to ‘Tax’ when you are categorising, so that when it comes to doing your tax you are easily able to identify what is tax related and what isn’t.   Disclaimer: The content within is general or publicly available information only. Speak with your accountant or financial adviser for advice on your specific circumstances or visit