Boost your tax return this year with the top five most overlooked tax deductions.
When it comes to your yearly tax refund it pays to remember that every little bit helps!
While each extra deduction may be relatively small, in total they add a significant boost to your refund. For someone earning $50,000 per year, an extra $600 of deductions can provide an extra $180 of refunded cash in your pocket.
The following are deductions that are sometimes overlooked as circumstances occur during the year and once forgotten are not easily reinstated at tax time.
Certain occupations are well aware that they can claim car expenses on their annual tax return and keep the appropriate records for either a log book or rate per km claim. However, there are many other workers who during the year use their personal vehicles for work related purposes.
For example, you might regularly pick up stock or run other work-related errands. These trips are potentially claimable and the easiest way to do this is by using the rate per km method. This allows the km to be claimed at 66c per km in your return. You should note down the km you do in a diary or logbook and take them each year to your registered tax agent.
Please note that travel each day to and from your workplace is not allowed as a tax deduction, so if you are running these errands in this manner, some special rules and calculations may apply.
As part of modern life, nowadays employees often log-in to workplace servers and generally work from home after hours. Others have a full work from home day/s as part of their employment. Keep track of these hours (a one month log will establish an average that can be used across the year). You can claim 45c per hour for this type of work from home.
Claims for internet expenses are often closely related to the work from home claims. If people choose or are required to work from home often they log into work using their home internet. If this is the case you may be able to reasonably estimate a percentage of your internet that you use each month and claim these on your return. You will need to keep a month long diary to show the work percentage to claim in your tax return.
The use of a mobile phone is so common in everyday life that it is easy to forget that you also use it for work. Whether it is phoning a client away from the office, taking a photo on site or remotely logging into work emails, the percentage that you use your phone for work related purposes is once again potentially a tax claim. A diary record or detailed phone statement will also be needed to make this claim.
If you are required or choose to be part of a workplace union or professional association these fees are likely to be deductible. The membership must be to a body that relates directly to your trade or profession. The cost of subscriptions to journals and magazines related to your trade or profession also are possible claims.
Remember all receipts and diary records must be kept to substantiate your claims.