As every year, the ATO is warning individual tax payers to not go crazy with their claims.
Basic conditions are:
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- it must be directly related to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it.
Here’s a list of things they suggest you probably can’t claim on your tax return:
- Trips between home and work. Generally you can’t claim a deduction for these because they’re considered private travel.
- Car expenses for transporting bulky tools or equipment, unless:
– you need to use your bulky tools to do your job
– your employer requires you to transport this equipment
– there is no secure area to store the equipment at work.
- Car expenses that have been salary sacrificed.
- Meal expenses for travel, unless you were required to work away from home overnight.
- Private travel, so if you take a work trip that includes personal travel you can only claim the work-related portion.
- Everyday clothes you bought to wear to work (eg, a suit or black pants), even if your employer requires you to wear them.
- A flat rate for cleaning eligible work clothes without being able to show how you calculated the cost.
- Higher education contributions charged through the HELP scheme.
- Self-education expenses when the study doesn’t have a direct connection to your current employment – your future or dream jobs don’t count.
- Private use of phone or internet expenses – only the work-related portion counts.
- Up-front deductions for tools and equipment that cost more than $300. However, you can spread your deduction claim over a number of years. That’s called depreciation.
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