Working from home
If you regularly work at home, things like your computer, phone, electricity, heating and cleaning expenses might be claimable. But, remember, the expenses must be work-related.
- the cost of cleaning, heating and lighting your home office,
- depreciation of office equipment such as a computer (if the item costs more than $300),
- the cost of office equipment (if it costs less than $300), and
- work-related calls and a percentage of your line rental, if you use your phone for work.
Again, receipts and records are important to prove your expenses. So, keep your receipts and your itemised phone bills, and keep a diary of when you’re working.
If you’re studying something that’s related to your work, and your study will lead to a formal qualification, you might be able to claim the cost of your education. For example, an Enrolled Nurse studying a Bachelor of Nursing, or an apprentice hairdresser studying hairdressing. You can’t however claim for study that’s not related to your work, so if you’re studying for a career change, forget it.
Tools of the trade
If you need to buy equipment to get the job done, then you might be able to claim it as a deduction.
For example, things like scissors for hairdressers, hard hats for builders, desks, calculators and filing cabinets, basically your tools of trade, may be claimed as tax deductions.
For this equipment, the cost of purchasing, insuring and repairing could be deductible.
If you’re lucky enough to have investments that earn income, then you might be able to claim the money you spend on these. As examples consider claiming account keeping fees and the interest charged on any investment loans (like a mortgage on an investment property).
The above information has come from the Australian Tax Office and was correct at the time of publishing. However, it may not apply to your individual circumstances. Check with your accountant to ensure these deductions apply to you.