To prepare for tax time 2021, we have created a list of deductions you are able to claim if you work in retail or as a cleaner, hospitality worker, office worker, or work in sales and marketing.
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, or protective clothing that your employer requires you to wear. This may include an apron or overalls to protect your ordinary clothes from soiling or damage, or gloves or breathing masks to provide protection from chemicals.
You are unable to 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. jeans or shoes).
You cannot claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin products, even if your employer expects you to be well groomed. All grooming products are private expenses.
You can claim a deduction when you drive between separate jobs on the same day (e.g. travelling to your second job as a waiter), drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day (e.g. travelling to different houses that you clean).
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 outsider normal business hours (e.g. night cleaning shifts).
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 (e.g. an extension ladder used for cleaning windows).
You can claim a deduction for the cost of overtime meals on those occasions where you worked overtime and took an overtime meal break, and where your employer paid you an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award, or agreement.
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of meals eaten during a normal working day as it is a private expense, even if you receive an allowance to cover the meal expense.
Tools and Equipment Expenses
You can claim a deduction for tools or equipment you are required to purchase for your job.
You are unable to claim a deduction relating to any private use of the equipment (e.g. if you use a vacuum cleaner for private purposes half of the time, you can only deduct 50% of the cost) or if the tools and equipment are supplied by your employer or another person.
You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairing tools and equipment for work. If the tools or equipment were also used for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the repair cost.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job (e.g. barista course if you are working in a coffee shop).
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. you cannot claim the cost of study to enable you to move from being a food delivery driver to being a chef).
You can claim a deduction for travel expenses if you are required to travel overnight and do not attend your usual work location (e.g. travelling to a remote office, provided the cost was incurred while carrying out your work duties). This could include meals, accommodation, fares and incidental expenses that you incurred and your employer has not provided or reimbursed you.
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.
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.
You generally cannot claim the cost of rates, mortgage interest, rent, and insurance.
You can claim a deduction for other expenses such as union and professional association fees, the work-related portion of phone expenses if you have to make phone calls or send texts for work, technical or professional publications, seminars and conferences, renewing your special employee or gaming license. You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of getting your initial licence.
Gifts and Donations
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, 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.
“Got any questions the FAA Team are here to help!”