For some people, the very mention of ‘tax time’ can send a shiver down the spine, but regardless of whether it’s feverish excitement or fear and dread you may be feeling come tax time this year, it’s worth remembering there are always a few sweeteners to help you in getting the very best tax return.
Here at ITP we have come up with our 5 top tax deductions that can often be overlooked, but are an easy way of getting extra money in your back pocket.
1. Use an income tax professional to lodge your tax return
Our fees are fully deductible, so make sure you bring last year’s receipt for the cost of preparing your tax return along next time you meet with your consultant so we can include it in this year’s claim.
2. Donations to charity
We have all heard the phrase “charity begins at home” and in this sense it couldn’t be more true. Regardless of your contribution commitments and the dollar value, you can claim deductions against all noted charitable contributions. The ATO website has a list of registered charities, so keep all your receipts for monetary donations and your ITP consultant will include the claim with your lodgement. Regardless of the tax benefits, supporting charities is a good thing. That’s why we support Cancer Council Queensland.
3. Work related car expenses
If you drive to see customers or clients as part of your job and use your own vehicle, you are eligible to claim expenses associated with the use of your car.
It is important to keep all receipts for petrol, insurance, registration and servicing. A log book will help you to do this. It is important to note that travel costs to and from work are not tax deductible.
4. Home office expenses and items used daily
If you have a small business or simply work from home sometimes, you can claim a portion of your electricity and internet expenses, and even your rent. You can also claim depreciation on new computers, printers and furniture – although the ATO states that purchase of these items must have occurred in the last financial year and be work related, rather than for personal or domestic use. We can help clarify any queries or confusions you may have regarding these deductions.
5. Things you use constantly (devices)
If you use your mobile phone, tablet, laptop or other technological devices regularly for work related matters you may be able to claim a deduction for work related usage. By simply undertaking a four week log of calls, and using your phone bill to determine the work related portion, you can claim the cost of using your device(s) in your tax return.
All these tips are here to help you get the best out of your tax return. The underlining message is to keep all receipts, however small they seem, and keep a basic log book. We will help you with lodging these deductions, and with any further queries or more complicated tax matters you may have in order to maximise your return.