To prepare for tax time 2021, we have created a list of deductions you are able to claim if you work in real estate or in an office.
You can claim a deduction for car expenses when you drive between separate jobs on the same day (e.g. travelling from your real estate agency to your second job as a waiter), or when you drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day (e.g. travelling between two different residential open homes).
You are unable to claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours (e.g. to attend a weekend auction).
There are limited circumstances where you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work and your employer requires you to transport the equipment for work, the equipment is essential to earning your income, and there was no secure area to store the equipment.
You can claim a deduction for travel expenses if you have to travel overnight from your usual work location (e.g. travelling to a remote area to inspect a property, provided the cost was incurred while carrying out your work duties). Travel expenses may include meals and accommodation, fares, petrol, and incidentals such as parking fees and tolls.
Receiving a travel allowance from your employer does not automatically entitle you to a deduction. You still need to show that you were away overnight, you spent the money yourself, and the travel was directly related to earning your income (e.g. it was not a personal expense).
Clothing and Grooming Expenses
You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending, or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job (e.g. clothing items that you’re required to wear which have a logo that is unique and distinctive to your employer).
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it and even if you only wear it for work (e.g. black pants and a white shirt).
You cannot claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin products, even if your employer tells you to use them, or you are required to be well-groomed.
Home Office Expenses
You can claim a percentage of the running costs of your home office if you have to work from home, including depreciation of office equipment, work-related phone calls and internet access charges, and electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
If you are required to purchase equipment for your work and it costs more than $300, you can claim a deduction for this cost spread over a number of years (depreciation).
You generally cannot claim the cost of rates, mortgage interest, rent, and insurance.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course related directly to your current job (e.g. human resource training for a manager).
You cannot claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help you get a new job (e.g. a health and wellbeing course).
You can claim a deduction for the cost of seminars and conferences, marketing equipment, decorating properties, renewing your annual certificate of registration, union and professional association fees, and technical or professional publications.
Gifts and Donations
You can claim a deduction for the cost of gifts (e.g. alcohol, flowers, etc. bought for work purposes if you are a salesperson or property manager entitled to receive your income from commission or both commission and retainer.
You cannot claim a deduction if you earn a fixed income and you are not entitled to earn a commission.
You cannot claim a deduction for gifts that are in the form of entertainment (e.g. a live sporting event).
You can claim a deduction for a donation you make to an organisation if the donation meets four conditions:
- You make it to a deductible gift recipient (DGR)
- It must truly be a donation. A donation is a voluntary transfer of money or property where you receive no material benefit or advantage
- It must be money or property, which includes financial assets such as shares
- You have a record of the donation such as a receipt
To claim a deduction for work-related expenses you must have spent the money yourself and were not reimbursed, it must be directly related to earning your income, and you must have a record to prove it. You can only claim the work-related part of the expenses. You cannot claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.
This information has been sourced from the ATO.
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