7 tax deductions you should not forget this EOFY

With the end of the financial year (EOFY) fast approaching, now is the ideal time to start planning your taxes. We had a chat with Dr. Adrian Raftery, principal of Mr Taxman and author of ‘101 Ways to Legally Save Money on Your Taxes!’, to uncover some unexpected tax deductions that you could benefit from and how to claim these deductions and boost your tax refund (or minimise your tax liability) this year.

1. Home-office renovations 

“While a lot of workers work from home at least one or two days a week, many are unaware of the extent to which they can claim deductions for expenses incurred in operating their home office. With the ATO’s shortcut method of 80 cents per hour scrapped, the Revised Fixed Rate Method and Actual Cost Method are your most viable options,” says Dr Raftery.

You can claim for the costs you incur in running your home office, including actual deductions for the work-related portion of home telephone, internet, stationery, printers, computer equipment, and consumables. You can also claim for electricity, gas, and the depreciation of home-based furniture, including any improvements made to your home office.

2. Work-related courses and training

“If you participated in any courses or training related to your job or business, you can claim the cost to attend as a tax deduction. This includes conferences, workshops, seminars, and other professional development activities that have a direct relationship to your current employment,” informs Dr Raftery.

3. Super top-up 

Regardless of your income level, superannuation is a great tax reduction tool. Contribute up to $27,500 per financial year into super. In addition if your super balance was under $500,000 as at 1 July 2020, you can carry forward any unused amounts from your annual $25,000 allocation from the 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 & 2021/22 years and make a higher contribution this year. If you earn under $42,016 take advantage of the Superannuation Co-Contribution by putting in $1,000 with the government matching it by half. Free money! Also, if you earn less than $37,000 your spouse can put up to $3,000 into your super and they will receive the 18% spouse contribution rebate.

4. Clock-in working from home 

With so many still working from home in this post-COVID environment, this is one claim that will continue to be high in 2022/23. The ATO’s shortcut method (now relabelled to the fixed costs method) has been reduced to 67 cents per hour and you must keep a log of your actual time at home. That method will probably be less than deductions for the work-related portion of home telephone, internet, stationery, printers, computer equipment, electricity and consumables under the actual costs method.

5. Lighting and photo equipment

According to Dr Raftery, with Zoom and Microsoft Teams becoming a part of everyday work life since the pandemic, having poor quality equipment can be seen as unprofessional.

“Smart business professionals are investing in lighting and other photo equipment to enhance their appearance and sound during online meetings. There is also an increase in workers and businesses claiming tax deductions for online meetings and marketing equipment, such as LED lights, microphones, headphones, desktop speakers and second monitors (including monitor arms),” says Dr Raftery.

6. Other work-related expenses 

Dr. Raftery says there are several work-related expenses that may qualify as tax-deductible, depending on your job and individual situation.

“Often, these expenses go unacknowledged, as they are not considered significant. Some examples include union fees, subscriptions for work-related purposes, and food purchased during overtime work. It’s important to note that if you pay your fees or subscriptions in advance for the upcoming tax year before 30 June 2023, you can claim the deduction this year,” suggests Dr Raftery.

7. Tax professionals

Were you aware that you could receive a tax deduction if you paid a tax professional to complete your previous year’s tax return?

“It’s always a good idea to seek the right advice from a tax professional when organising your affairs. Make sure to claim any tax accounting or advice from the previous year to maximise your EOFY benefits,” advises Dr. Raftery.

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This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice. You must seek professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.