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6 things about tax deductions you probably don't know

prepare for your tax return tax deductions Apr 21, 2022

Tax is complicated, and we are here to help navigate your taxes easily.  So we thought we would share some of our tax agent secrets about tax deductions that you may not have known about.

1. You can claim the costs for maintaining your tax affairs.  Whilst this means your tax agent fees, it can also include your storage used for tax (eg stationary or filing) and your trip to your accountant, tax advice, the cost of software to maintain your records and any courses or reference materials you buy to help you prepare your tax return.

2. You can claim laundry costs for protective clothing and occupation-specific clothing, like fire-resistant clothing, safety coloured vests and clothing, chef and police uniforms.  Compulsory uniforms are also included for laundry claims.  The basis for claims is $1 per load for ONLY work clothes or $0.50 per load for mixed clothing. You must be able to prove your costs if you want to claim more than $150 for laundry each year.

3. If you want to put additional money into your super fund, then you can claim it if you fill out a notice of intent to claim form and you meet the cap criteria (how much you are allowed to put in).

4. If you work at home you may be able to claim your working from home costs - one of 3 ways: Fixed-rate (an amount per hour), Actual Cost method, or a higher Covid work from home rate that encompasses everything.  You can choose any of the methods to make sure you get the best claim for yourself.  The ATO has an awesome calculator that can help here.

5. Some industries have specific claims that may be different from the specific claims - such as Defence force members, nurses, IT professionals, and real estate employees.  Check out the list to see if your occupation is here.

6. If you live in a remote area (such as the Pilbara) you get to claim a zone offset.  This is $338 for the year (Zone A), and may be more if you have dependent children.  This is not a tax deduction - but rather, it reduces the amount of tax that you pay overall (so if you do not pay tax, then there is no offset received).  Some more remote areas (more than 200kms from a regional centre) may be eligible for a zone offset of $1172 (Special Zone) or if you are under the 26th parallel, then you may be eligible for an offset of $57 (Zone B).  These zones and offset amounts have not changed since the 1980s.

This blog is intended to provide general information only and should not be construed as legal or specific tax advice for your circumstances. It is always best to get advice from a professional before you rely on anything you read on the internet.

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