What is the difference between a deduction and an offset?
A deduction is basically any expense you incurred while doing your job. This amount is then taken off your gross (pre-taxed) income. This result is called your Taxable Income, and your tax liability is then calculated off that amount. An offset is a direct reduction in the total tax you are to pay.
My employer requires me to wear specific clothing. Can I claim these as work deductions?
There are 2 main ways you can claim uniform expenses. One way is for protection, ie. Steel Capped boots, the other is a uniform with a logo on it.
How long should I keep my receipts for?
Keep receipts for up to 5 years after lodgement.
What is counted as income in my tax return?
Ordinary income such as income derived from your job, some centerlink payments, interest from banks, and dividends from shares. Other income such as Capital Gains is counted as income, though if you have held the asset for more than 12 months, you will receive a 50% discount.
I was paid an allowance that wasn’t taxed, is this counted as income?
Depending on what kind of allowance it is. In some cases allowances can unfortunately cause a bad tax position as even though the income was not taxed, does not mean the allowance is non-taxable.
What car expenses are claimable?
Unless you carry heavy equipment to work, you cannot claim any car expenses for simply driving to work and back everyday. What is claimable is if you drive to different locations for work, or if you go to a second job or study location without going home first.
I have to buy materials and tools for work, are they claimable?
Any items that you pay for to do your job are deductible, from pens to laptops to bulldozers.
My job requires me to stay updated with educational material, is that claimable?
Yes, any self education costs involved in keeping or getting ahead in your current job are claimable.
What donations are deductible?
Any money you give to charity that is registered as a tax deductible charity, and you get a receipt for.
Can I claim Sun Protection expenses?
Yes. If you are in the sun for work, then you can claim hats, sunscreen, sunnies etc.
I was away on work, and I stayed overnight at different places, can I claim anything?
If you were away for work, then you can claim incidental costs, food, and accommodation costs. As always keep receipts. If you combined the time away with a holiday, then a percentage of work related expenses can be claimed.
I use a room in my house to work in, can I claim an expense here?
Yes, a percentage of work related use will be used to determine how much is claimable. Common expenses are computer, phone and internet related expenses.
I had Child Care expenses during the year, are these tax deductible?
Child care costs are not claimed through the tax system, but through the Child Care Tax Rebate through the Family Assistance Office.
Is the preparation of my tax return tax deductible?
Yes, all costs incurred in order to correctly submit your tax return by a tax agent are deductible
What is negative gearing?
It is the ability to claim the loss you have made on a rental property, that you can claim against your regular income.