Each year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) places extra emphasis on particular areas of individual tax returns. This year the ATO will be focusing on work related expenses and claims made by owners of investment properties and holiday homes.

With the increase of work related expenses in previous years the ATO has identified the need to ensure that individuals are only making claims for deductions eligible under current tax law. Before lodging your tax return it is important that you ensure that you are entitled to claim for a particular deduction. Secondly, you must ensure that you can substantiate the claim and demonstrate how it relates to your business or work. This may be done through retaining receipts or by keeping a logbook or diary.

Motor Vehicle expenses for transporting Bulky Tools
Ordinarily individuals are unable to claim a deduction for travel between home and work. However, a deduction is available if you are required to transport bulky tools and equipment for work provided that certain conditions are met.

If you wish to claim a deduction for motor vehicle related expenses you may use either the cents per kilometre method or the log book method. The log book method requires a valid log book. We can provide you with a log book template.

Work Related Travel
Deductions for work related travel may be claimed for meal, accommodation and other incidental costs. If you receive a travel allowance this must be included as income and claim a deduction for expenses incurred. Employees who are reimbursed for their travel expenses by their employer are unable to claim a deduction. It is important to note that if your travel exceeds 6 consecutive nights you are required to complete a travel diary which The Quinn Group can provide.

Personal computer, phone or other electronic devices
A deduction is available where an employer requires you to use your personal computer, phone or other electronic devices for work related purposes. A diary must be kept for a 4 week period to demonstrate the percentage of work related use. The Quinn Group can provide a sample diary.

Self education
Self-education tax deductions are allowed only if there is sufficient connection between the course and the taxpayer’s current employment .The self education expenses are deductable if

  • They have improved or maintained skills related to your current employment,
  • They are likely to result in an increased income from current work activities
  • Other circumstances existed which established a direct connection

If you need assistance in claiming work related expenses, please contact one of our tax accountants at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry.