Income tax deductions tips from Airtax
Most people put their income tax return at the bottom of their to-do list - often because it can be time consuming, confusing and a little daunting.
Airtax specialist, Bridget, has put together some tips to help you maximise your deductions and therefore minimse your tax taxable income and any amount of tax payable.
What deductions can I claim as a support worker?
As a sole trader working in the health care or caring industry there are a number of expenses you might be able to claim as deductions in your tax return which relate to earning your income as a care worked.
What and how much you can claim can sometimes be confusing. Here’s list of common work related expenses in the health and caring sector which you can use as a guide:
If you’re using your vehicle for work related travel, you may be able to claim back related expenses. There’s two methods for claiming car expenses - the cents per km method or the logbook method, you can learn more about both methods here. Note that you cannot claim for travel between home and work or travel to social functions.
As a caring professional you may be required to wear occupation-specific or protective clothing. Where it is mandatory for you to purchase and wear, you might be able to claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, repairing or cleaning.
Note that you cannot claim a deduction for standard clothing, that is not strictly required for your line of work. However, it may be possible to claim the cost of some items if they form part of a compulsory uniform which, when worn together, identifies you as an employee of the organisation and the policy is enforced by the organisation. You can find out more about what constitutes occupation specific clothing, a uniform which would be deductible for tax purposes and protective clothing here.
Laundry & dry cleaning
Generally speaking, it is possible to claim a deduction for the cost of laundering and dry cleaning work clothes which are deductible as outlined above.
If this claim is more than $150 and the total claim for work related expenses (other than car, meal allowance, award transport allowance and travel allowance expenses) is greater than $300 you will need to provide written evidence for the total claim. You do not need to provide written evidence if the total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less.
It’s common to have to undertake study if you’re working in a healthcare role - it may also be possible to claim a deduction for these expenses.
To be eligible to claim a deduction for self education expenses, you will need to show a strong link between your current employment and the study undertaken. The basis of this is that the education should either be maintaining or improving specific skills or knowledge that are required for you to do your current role or that the education would result in, or is likely to result in, an increase in your income from that job.
You cannot claim self-education expenses if it is not linked to your role at the time or if you are employed casually to support yourself whilst studying. You can find about about more of the specifics of claiming self education expenses here.
First aid courses
Outside of self-education expenses, the cost of first aid training courses might be claimable as a deduction if you’re the designated first aid person and are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.
What else can you claim?
There’s a range of other expenses that you should be aware of as a care worker, when completing your income tax return. Take a look here.
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