Top 5 Tax Deductions for 2017

article by David Maj on the 14th of January 2019

1. Work Related Car Expenses

This section is hefty and one of the most widely used deductions given so many Australians use their car for work purposes! However, an important exclusion is the use of your own vehicle from home to work and vice versa – this counts as private travel.

There are two different methods to claiming work-related car expenses – the ‘cents per kilometre’ method, and the ‘logbook’ method.

The Cents Per Kilometre method gives you a flat $0.66 deduction per kilometre, up to 5,000 kilometres – a $3,300.00 deduction. Your calculations will be needed for this method.

  • Which kilometres can be counted? If you…
  • Drive to deliver or collect items
  • Attend conferences or meetings
  • Travel between two workplaces
  • Carry your own bulky tools or equipment (not supplied by your employer, and no storage at work)

The Logbook method gives you a percentage of the expenses as a deduction, proportionate to your business-use.
The expenses that can be claimed include:

  • Fuel
  • Registration
  • CTP and Insurance
  • Tyres
  • Batteries
  • Servicing
  • Lease and Interest Payment

2. Work Related Travel Expenses

Even if you don’t use a car for work, (or even if you do!) you can access travel-related deductions if they come up because of work.
If you:

  • catch public transport, or
  • fly in and out of the country, or
  • drive on toll roads, or
  • have to stay overnight somewhere, and need to buy food and things for work, or
  • ride a motorbike, or
  • drive a nine passenger plus vehicle, or
  • pay for petrol, oil, and repair costs for a hired car,
  • to perform your work duties, you are entitled to deductions if you have written evidence for your claim!

Note that there can be additional requirements. For example, if you have to book a hotel or motel for overnight stays, it can only be for short period(s) of time and you must have a permanent home which is different to the place you are travelling to.

3. Work Related Uniform & Laundry Expenses

Do you wear:

  • Protective clothing
  • A compulsory, distinctive uniform
  • Clothing specific to your job, and
  • Wash or dry-clean any of the above?

You can claim the cost of these items back, including when you rent or repair them! For laundry deductions, you can claim back $1 per full load of the above work items, or $0.50 if you wash other clothes with your workwear.

A significant exception is the purchase of cleaning of plain, non-distinctive clothing, such as black pants, white shirts, stockings – even if they are required by your employer.

4. Work Related Self-Education Expenses

The Australian Government supports workers who want to up-skill themselves for their current job.

Generally, expenses incurred while studying towards a formal qualification are tax deductible, as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The course is sufficiently connected to your current employment
  • It will maintain or improve your currently required skills or knowledge
  • It will or likely will increase your current income

Examples of such expenses include:

  • Overnight accommodation and meals, e.g. for conferences
  • Course fees
  • Stationery
  • Textbooks
  • Student Amenities or Student Union Fees
  • Academic, professional, or trade journals

5. Cost of Managing your Tax Affairs

While it might seem more budget-friendly to do your tax return yourself, the costs of hiring a tax agent (i.e. us!) to sort out a year’s worth of receipts, payments, deductions, expenses, and income are fully tax-deductible. Plus, we’re fully trained and knowledgeable about how you can legally maximise the tax refund you get back.

All up, the deductions allowed by the Australian Tax Office cover a broad range of expenses. However, in our experience not enough clients claim all that they’re entitled to. Our goals at DKM Accounting are to help our clients legally minimise their tax, increase profits, and in the long run, protect your wealth.

So, give us a call today and see how we can help you!