This Is How You Maximise Your Tax Returns

5 min read
This Is How You Maximise Your Tax Returns

When June 30 rolls around, do you run out to complete your tax return, rubbing your hands with glee as you wait to hear just how big your windfall will be?

Pay off my credit card. Tick.

Buy the pair of shoes I’ve been eyeing. Tick. Maybe the handbag”¦Or, do you cringe, moan and drag your feet? How much is the damage this year? 

We’ve compiled a list of tax deductions to try to turn your tax blues into cold hard cash..

A rule of thumb..

Generally speaking, you can claim work-related expenses on tax. You must be out of pocket for these expenses, without any reimbursement. They should relate to the tax year for which you’re claiming, and in most cases, you’ll need some kind of record to prove the money was spent.

If you bought or used something for work and home you might be able to claim a percentage of the work related portion.

Travel expenses

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Work-related travel expenses are claimable. But, before you get too excited, this doesn’t include your travel to and from your office. However, an interstate flight for work, travel between two different offices, or a trip to visit a customer might be claimable.

There are a few ways to calculate a deduction if you wish to claim for the use of your car. But, all require proof. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a diary of your business trips and receipts of your car expenses.

Recording the odometer reading at the start and end of each business trip might make it easier to calculate your business kilometres at tax time.

If you’re travelling overnight for work and pay for things like meals, taxis and accommodation yourself, think about claiming these as well.

Work clothes and cleaning costs

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If you wear a uniform, require specific clothing (like checked chef’s pants), or need protective clothing (like sunglasses or non-slip shoes) think about claiming for these. You might be able to claim both your purchasing and cleaning costs.

But, keep your receipts as you’ll need proof if your annual laundry bill exceeds $150, or if all your work-related expenses for the year total more than $300.

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If you regularly put your hand in your pocket to support a cause, we’ve got good news for you. Most likely you can claim your donations. To claim, you’ll need:

  • to be giving to a deductible gift recipient (check this by putting their ABN into the Australian Business Register),
  • your donation will need to be money or property (for example shares), and
  • you’ll need to receive nothing in return (so if you’re buying a charity pen or lapel pin forget it).

Working from Home? See next for what you can claim from the government.

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Justine Atherton

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