Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Tax time doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider claiming these tax deductions in this financial year’s tax return to put more cash in your back pocket. Most Australians are punting on getting money back from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when they prepare and lodge their annual tax return.
You’re entitled to claim deductions for expenses that relate directly to earning your income. Be aware that whether you can claim will depend on your circumstances.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of tax deductions you could claim on your taxable income.
1. Claiming Home Office Equipment. Given that COVID-19 has driven so many of us to work remotely it’s likely you’ve invested in some new home office equipment. So that fancy new desk or second monitor is all claimable.
2. Claiming Mobile Phone Calls If you’re making calls that relate to your work, you can generally claim these as a tax deduction. Other possible claimable expenses include internet connection costs for your home office, too.
3. Claiming Office Supplies & Equipment For small business owners, specialist equipment can be a legitimate expense. For example, if you're in hospitality or retail and invest in new Point of Sale equipment, it could be deducted. And while stationery and workspace supplies are things you probably think to deduct, remember other items like milk for the work kitchen are also possible deductions.
4. Claiming Business Travel Expenses. If you’ve had to travel for work, you could claim the costs – flights, accommodation, meals, taxis and so on – but again, only if you haven’t been reimbursed through your business or by your employer. Also know this: if you tacked a few days onto your business trip, that section of the trip can’t be deducted.
5. Claiming a Handbag. If you use a bag for work purposes, such as carrying iPads, phones, calculators or anything else you need to run a business or do your job, you could claim a tax deduction for the cost of the bag. The handbag needs to be fit for work purposes.
6. Claiming Insurance. If you pay for insurance premiums against loss of income, those amounts are also potentially tax deductible. Bear in mind that doesn’t include life insurance, critical-care insurance or trauma insurance. It also excludes policies paid for out of your superannuation contributions. You may be able to deduct a portion of your home insurance premium.
7. Claiming Gym Memberships. The ATO takes a hard line around tax deductions relating to personal health and fitness but some people may be entitled to claim gym memberships, particularly if you require a level of fitness above the norm.
8. Claiming Accounting Costs. Individuals and businesses can potentially claim accounting costs.
9. Claiming Membership Fees If you’re part of a professional organisation, such as a union or industry body that relates to your profession and you pay fees, you could claim these fees as a tax deduction.
10. Claiming Car Expenses. If you’re required to use your own car for work reasons, you can usually claim fuel and maintenance as a tax deduction. There are two ways to calculate this deduction – you either use a logbook for at least 12 weeks, or you can claim cents per kilometre. Be careful – the ATO put a spotlight on car-related expenses last year. Also, bear in mind you can’t claim the trip to and from work.
11. Claiming Rental Property Expenses. Most people who own a rental property know they can claim deductions but some of these are overlooked.
Tax deductions you could claim are things like bank fees, insurance, pest control, maintenance and repairs, letting fees, marketing costs, security fees, gardening and lawn mowing costs and bookkeeping fees.
Remember, too, that you’re expected to keep files for five years from the time you lodge your tax return.