It is said that death and taxes are inevitable. One never knows when, where, or how death can strike. But you do know that taxes come back to haunt you at least once every year. One thing that you mustn’t do is evade taxes. But what if you could reduce the tax liability without breaking any rules. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has detailed rules about tax deductions. While most big-ticket options for tax reduction are well documented, there are many useful rules which not everyone knows about.
Let us look at two such tax refund options which you might not have heard about – one on work-related expenses, and the other on the depreciation of your property.
1. Work-Related Tax Deductions:
Let us first look at the ways your work-related expenses could help you lower your tax. In case you have taken up a course of study which pertains to your current employment, all expenses on it beyond the first $250 can be claimed as deductions. In case you can show that you are doing your office work from home, then the expenses incurred for that can be claimed. Some common examples are stationery, printers, computers, electricity expenses, and even chairs and desks. For some specific jobs, footwear expenses which are specific to their job can also be claimed. If you have subscribed to any magazines or journals related to your line of work, even that can be claimed under tax deductions.
Some of the items on the list above must have surprised you, but we are not done yet. You can claim a total deduction of up to $300 without submitting any proofs, but beyond that, you need to submit evidence. So let us look at some other work-related expenses where you can show receipts and reduce your tax. What about the work clothes you wear? Well, you can claim up to $1 per washing and ironing, provided you can show receipts. If you are paying your mobile phone and internet connectivity bills and have receipts to show, you can add them on if you are using them exclusively for work. The maintenance expenses of the vehicle you use to travel to and from work can also be claimed. The maximum distance allowable is 5000 kms, which means an average travel of 25 kms per day is admissible if you go to the office around 200 days in a year.
2. Property Related Allowances:
When you use a reputable agency like Deppro, they will tell you the small and of course the big expenses you can claim. In terms of assets, the bricks and mortars used in your property can also help you reduce your tax liability. You must remember that the land on which your house is constructed is not considered to be a depreciable asset, so you can’t claim tax depreciation on its value.
The ATO has recently changed its rules regarding claiming of tax depreciation. You need to hire a trustworthy agency who can send a qualified quantity surveyor to your property. The surveyor can make a list of all the assets and accordingly create a property asset list, based on which you can file your tax depreciation returns.