Tax expert reveals hidden tricks

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A tax expert has revealed the items you might not realise you can claim.

A tax expert has revealed the items that Aussies might not realise they’re able to claim back at tax time.

July 1 arrives on Monday, meaning people will be able to start submitting their returns with the ATO.

CPA Australia provided a list of items which many people didn’t realise they may be able to claim.

What is appropriately deductible will depend on your job and CPA Australia says any expense claimed must relate to your job and you must have evidence of it.

FEDERAL BUDGET 2024: AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - General view editorial generic stock photo of Australian cash money currency. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
A tax expert has revealed the items you might not realise you can claim. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

1. Work-related education

If your job requires education or training, and you pay for it, then you can claim it back.

“This includes the cost of attending conferences or seminars relevant to your job, including travel and hotel costs. Just not costs reimbursed by your employer,” CPA Australian spokesperson Gavan Ord says

2. Essential items

Basically you can claims any items that are essential for your job.

“If you drive for a living, things like sunglasses could be tax deductible,” Mr Ord says.

“If you need specific items of clothing, such as protective footwear, these count too. Just as long as you paid out of your own pocket and have the receipts, you can claim.”

3. Transportation costs

Many people can claim the cost of driving which is needed for their work.

“For example, if you’re a cleaner and you need to drive from one office or location to the next, this is a cost you can claim for,” Mr Ord says.

4. Overtime meals

You can claim overtime meals that you buy and eat while working overtime.

Mr Ord says you can claim overtime meals.

“If your employer paid you an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement, for the overtime and it’s included in your assessable income.”

5. Keeping clean

This applies for people who might work in jobs such as retail staff or at a train station.

“If you work in a job that requires interaction with lots of customers and surfaces, you can even claim the cost of items like gloves and hand sanitiser,” Mr Ord says.

Australian Money Background
People can start lodging their returns from July 1.

6. Sleeping bags and pillows

This applies for truck drivers.

“You can claim the cost of a sleeping bag and pillows when you use these on your mandatory long rest breaks and sleep away from home for work,” Mr Ord says.

7. Tools and equipment

People can claim for the costs of tools and equipment they use for work.

“Immediate deduction can be claimed if it costs up to $300 – otherwise you can claim the cost over a number of years,” Mr Ord says.

8. Media subscriptions

Mr Ord says: “If you’ve signed up to news publications, a professional magazine or other media services as part of your job and you pay for them yourself, you can claim these.”

Assignment Freelance Picture CPA Australia spokesperson Gavan Ord. Picture: Supplied.
CPA Australia spokesperson Gavan Ord. Picture: Supplied.

9. Home office

Since the pandemic, working from home has become more common - and you might be able claim back the costs of your home office.

“Your computer desk and chair are tax deductible as long as you paid for them yourself,” Mr Ord says.

“If you travel to the office, you could even claim for the laptop bag you use.”

10. The costs of preparing your tax return

Mr Ord says it’s often overlooked that you can claim back the costs of preparing your return if you seek professional tax advice from an accountant.

“Some people may be wondering if it’s worth seeking support from a tax agent, but given that you can claim the cost as a deduction, it’s definitely worth it,” Mr Ord says.