Claiming work-related expenses?
Do you get to 1 July and think ‘Woohoo! I can’t wait to get my tax return!’ Then you start getting your paperwork in order only to realise that you can’t find receipts for everything and didn’t keep track every km travelled and you’ve probably forgotten something that you might be able to claim. It is important to remember that if you want to claim work related expenses, you need to keep the appropriate records. So, now is a good time to make a new financial year resolution to start keeping track of them all. There are many ways to do this including the good old paper system or the new improved apps such as vehiclelog or if you uses apps like Evernote, you could take photos of your receipts at the time of purchase and save these online. This year the ATO will be focusing on unusually high work-related expense claims across all industries and occupations, in particular, those claims:
- which have already been reimbursed by employers; and
- for private expenses such as travel from home to work.
It’s worth noting, when claiming work-related travel, you can’t claim for a normal trip between home and work, unless:
- you use your car to carry bulky tools or equipment which you use for work and can’t leave on the work premises. So great for news for tradies but not so great for most other employees.
- your home is a base for employment. A great example of this would be a photographer who works from home but does not have a studio else where. Traveling to locations for shoots would be tax deductible.
- you have shifting places of employment, that is you regularly work at more than one place each day, such as a photocopier repairer.
And, of course we all know that, you are claiming a work-related expense deduction, you need to satisfy the following:
- you must have spent the money in that financial year;
- it must be related to your job; and
- you must have a record to prove it (remember shoebox or electronic, see above).
The moral to this blog is: beware! The ATO is watching. You need to start keeping your records now to be able to claim later.
Nicole Sabo | The Money Edge | Bundaberg