When it comes to doing tax, one piece of advice pops up again and again: keep your receipts! It’s a little bothersome but doing so throughout the tax year can help you reduce your overall tax bill by more than you thought.
While there are main expenses all business owners know they can claim for, like technology, there are a lot of other ones that fly under the radar. Are you wondering ‘What can I claim on tax?’ The list below may surprise you.
Discover 10 things you can claim on tax in Australia!*
1. Your Laundry.
Anyone tasked with keeping a uniform clean and presentable gets to claim those expenses back. You can claim $1 per load (keep track of how many times you do laundry) and it also covers dry cleaning costs. If the costs are under $300, then this is something you can claim on tax without receipts. Anything over that amount will require evidence.
Creating a pleasant environment at work is high on many employers’ agenda. A lot of offices provide chill out and fun spaces filled with games, pool tables and the like. Your investment in employee entertainment is actually tax deductible. Another good reason to inject some fun into the office.
3. Charity donations.
Making donations throughout the year does good not only for charities, but for your tax bill too. This includes any partnerships with non-profits and even those local charity runs. Keep track and add it to your claim at the end of the tax year.
4. Sun protection.
Does your job take you outdoors? Sunscreen is an example of an ATO tax deduction by occupation because it completely relies on whether or not you must work outdoors (it doesn’t count if you only choose to work outside). It may seem an unlikely thing to claim for, but it’s an expense that can add up fast if you’re trying to protect yourself from the Australian sun.
5. Working from home expenses.
Many have been working from home over the last twelve months, which naturally incurs expenses. The ATO have introduced a shortcut method so you can claim tax for working from home, with minimal record keeping requirements. The expenses you can claim for include electricity, internet access, home office equipment and much more. For detailed information, visit the working from home page.
6. A four-legged employee.
Purchasing a dog isn’t tax deductible but when it comes to dogs that provide security or are needed on a farm, you can claim on tax for the cost of their upkeep. This includes food, vet bills, and any other equipment you might need.
7. Seminars and courses.
No matter your industry, there are probably countless courses, seminars, webinars and other opportunities for learning new skills or updating yourself on industry standards. So long as the course helps you advance in your career or skills (or that of your employees), it counts as self-education expenses and you can claim it.
If you pay for someone to come to your office or workplace to clean, this is a work-related cost and can, therefore, be claimed. This also includes the cost of cleaning tools (such as a vacuum cleaner), so be sure to keep those receipts as well.
9. Your income.
Any premiums you pay for your income protection insurance fall under claimable expenses and are tax deductible. Be sure to include them when filing your taxes.
Whether it’s the New York Times or your local newspaper, if you use your subscriptions for work, you may also be able to claim tax for them. Anyone working in media can also claim back all those TV subscriptions.
When you’re using the ASIC tax calculator to find a rough estimate of your tax owed, remember that this tool (and others like it) don’t usually include these deductions so your final bill might not be as much as you expect!
And of course, when it comes time to do your online tax return in Australia, you can make a claim for all your usual business expenses, including any digital marketing you’ve done throughout the year.
This is a good thing to keep in mind, when you’re working out return on investment for your marketing activity. Get the details in our article How to claim back on your marketing expenses.
*We endeavour to provide accurate material for Australian businesses consistent with Australian laws; however, this material is for reference only and is not designed to be, nor should it be regarded as professional advice.