Tax time’s almost here which means, for a lot of us, a decent chunk of dosh to tuck away for a rainy day – or spend it on something nice if you feel like a little treat.
Now that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has made it that much easier to do your own taxes with a more straightforward process on its website, it’s always handy to know exactly what you can claim as some of the approved expenses aren’t your usual suspects.
We still have a few weeks until tax time, so knowing this info also means you can make some last-minute purchases or donations and essentially claim a portion of it back. Win-win.
Here are a few left-of-field claims you can make.
Home office supplies
It’s safe to say a lot of Aussies would’ve invested in some decent office supplies over the past year, from fancy-schmancy desks to computer monitors and comfy chairs.
The good news is that you’ll be able to claim back a good portion of those expenses (always check the ATO site to figure out just how much you can claim), so while it might’ve initially seemed like a steep investment, that chair will seem all the sweeter now that you should be able to get a bit of compensation for it.
The shortcut method to calculate how much you can claim when working from home is 80 cents per hour, but you can check out the nitty-gritty here.
Does your work require some driving every now and then? Claim it, people.
There’s a handy guide on the ATO website that tells you how much petrol you can feasibly claim before you get into dicey territory, so make sure you do the maths, keep those petrol receipts and if you’re driving a lot, you might also need to keep a driving log to cover your bases.
Believe it or not (but do), donating to charities can actually be claimed on tax. Donations to organisations like Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and their Sydney Sick Kids Appeal can be logged as a deduction when tax time eventually comes around.
For context, the Sydney Sick Kids Appeal essentially raises vital funds for Sydney’s children’s hospitals and services, so sick kids across the state receive the utmost care when and where they need it.
It’s definitely not about you, but being able to claim some tax back on a donation that helps young Aussies would feel pretty damn uplifting. So it’s a little bit about you, I suppose. But mainly about those in need. But also a little bit about how good it feels.
If you were one of the few people who travelled interstate for work this year, you best believe you can deduct some of those expenses.
If you went to dinner at a schmick restaurant while you were away for work, you can claim it. Just make sure you have some evidence that the trip was indeed for work, and you have some documents to back up your claims.
As someone who’s avoided dry cleaners like the plague because I don’t feel like I deserve such luxuriously clean clothes, it was positively delightful news to hear that you can claim some of that cost when completing your tax return.
The minor stipulation here is that has to be clothing related to work, so if you wear a uniform or you’re required to wear a suit that needs a dry clean, you can claim that.
If you’re trying to claim some money back on your bed sheets or regular wardrobe, that’s when you’re entering dodgy territory.
Of course, exactly how much you can claim back on tax should be double-checked with your accountant and/or the ATO.Image: The Imitation Game