To prepare for tax time 2021, we have created a list of deductions you are able to claim if you are an IT professional or a truck driver.
You can claim a deduction for car expenses when you drive between separate jobs on the same day (e.g. you work for two different employers) or when you drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day (e.g. a computer repairer who travels to multiple call outs per day).
You generally cannot 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. travelling at night to reboot computer servers, or travelling between depots).
Home Office Expenses
You can claim a percentage of the running costs of your home office if you have to work from home, including the depreciation of office equipment, work-related phone calls and internet access charges, and electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
You are unable to claim the cost of rates, mortgage interest, rent, and insurance.
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job (e.g. learning new software required to perform your work duties).
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 are a computer sales person who is studying to be a software programmer).
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 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 or a business suit).
Phone and Internet Expenses
You can claim phone and internet usage if your employer needs you to use your personal devices for work. You can only claim the work-related portion of the use of your personal device.
You can claim a deduction for travel expenses if you are required to travel overnight (e.g. travelling to a remote area, 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. You cannot claim accommodation expenses if you sleep in your truck or your employer provides you with accommodation.
Other expenses you can claim a deduction for include:
- Tools and equipment you are required to purchase for work. If the tool or equipment costs more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the cost over a number of years (depreciation). If it costs less than $300, you can claim an immediate deduction for the whole cost
- Union and professional association fees
- Protection equipment such as sunglasses, sunhats, and sunscreen
- Restraining ropes
- Union fees
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 weren’t 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 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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