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Plump up your tax return this year

tax time Sep 17, 2021

 

By: Elle Shaddick 

Client Manager / Tax - Business Services 

 

As August begins and the rush of the End of Financial Year is over, it’s a great time to get your tax return done. We spoke with Elle Shaddick at Elevate Tax who shared with us a list of some of the things that most women forget to claim. Can you add any of these to your return this year? (as always, this is just general advice – please ensure that you speak with your tax professional about
your individual situation)

Handbag/Laptop Bag – You must be able to show a clear connection between the purpose of the bag and your work activities – ie carrying an expensive laptop around and a handbag that protects it may be tax deductible. If over $300, you’ll need to depreciate it over a number of years.
 
Superannuation – Salary sacrifice through your employer or make after-tax contributions which can be regular direct debits or one-off payments. Make sure you notify your super fund of your intent to claim your contributions as a tax deduction if paying directly. If you’re really looking for a tax saving
and to give your super fund a top up, it may be worth considering the carry-forward concessional contributions scheme that allows you to make extra contributions without having to pay extra tax through your prior year unused contributions caps.
 
COVID Protection – During the pandemic, you may be able to claim the cost of buying face masks, hand sanitiser and cleaning products if you’ll be in close contact with colleagues and customers during your work duties.
 
Sun protection – if you work outdoors and purchase sunscreen or sunglasses then you may be able to claim these as a tax deduction. Make sure you apportion any private use and keep your receipts.
 
Investment Expenses – If you’re earning dividends, interest or other types of investment income make sure you keep records for associated expenses such as interest on a loan you take out to buy shares, advisor fees, courses/subscriptions/books, office equipment, internet and travel expenses if
attending any related seminars/training.
 
Ain't got time for that! Don’t fall for these common mistakes that women often make:
 
Not claiming the most tax effective working from home method - Be mindful of claiming the ATO’s current 80c per hour method, we often find this doesn’t work out to be the most tax effective way to claim as you can’t claim any other expenses on top of this for working from home (phone/internet/office furniture etc)
 
Claiming professional work clothing – if it’s doesn’t have a logo generally black pants/suits and office clothing is non deductible.
 
Not keeping a logbook or records – there are heaps of easy ways to keep receipts and records such as the ‘drivers note’ digital logbook, expensify app or the ATO’s ‘my deductions’. Its much easier to keep records throughout the year once you get into the habit. All those little receipts can add up over 12 months!

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