A fresh financial year has just begun here in Australia, making now an opportune time to stay on top of your finances so that you can maximise your return this tax year.
What should you be keeping track of as a work-from-home employee? We’ll quickly go over some of the basics and then dive into some other little-known items that you can claim for 2018/2019.
This is one most startup and small business owners have got covered. Through the instant asset write-off scheme, you can deduct the expense for capital items used for business purposes that cost up to $20,000 per item.
There are the basics, like desks, chairs, cabinets, and computers. But did you know that you may also be able to claim plants, paintings, televisions, your home internet, and security equipment?
Here are a few other little known claimable items that can put more money in your pocket this year:
- Your mobile phone. Claim the cost of your phone and any expenses used for your work phone calls.
- Your handbag. Men have been able to claim their briefcases for years. Now ladies can claim their handbag as long as it’s primarily used for work purposes (like lugging around a notebook or a laptop).
- Your shoes. As long as they are work-related, that is.
- Your makeup. If you work outdoors or on a plane, you can claim your sunscreen and any SPF makeup this year.
- Your laundry. Wear a uniform for work purposes? Claim the soap, power costs for washing and water as a work expense.
- Your temperature control. Your home is your office space. Apart from claiming the electricity needed to run your computer and lighting, you can also claim any expenses related to heating and air conditioning
- Your car. Use your car for work? Claim any work-related trips (not including any trips to and from the office).
- Your subscriptions. Work-related subscriptions to magazines and journals can be claimed
- Your cleaning service. If home is your regular place of work, you can write off the cost of a cleaner.
Marketing expenses can be astronomical, so it’s nice to know that a lot of what you spend can be claimed this tax year. Nearly all forms of advertising – television, radio, billboard, press, and even social media – can be claimed. If you attend community events and engagements, like open days, fetes, and fairs, you may also be able to claim those expenses.
There are a number of deductions related to insurance you can take advantage of, like:
- Insurance for fire protection
- Workers compensation insurance premiums
- Theft and loss of profits
- Business-use car insurance
- Public liability insurance
Other Oddball Costs
Depending on the type of work you perform, you may be able to take advantage of additional deductions like staff training, pool tables, and gaming consoles like a PlayStation or Xbox One.
- Have a dog? If you have a working dog who helps you with your job, you may be able to write off your pup’s food and vet bills.
- Work in the adult industry? You may be able to deduct your sex toys if they’re used for your job.
- Need financial advice and help with accounting? Include those fees in your tax deductions.
Finally, make sure you claim for the depreciation of your assets like your laptop and other office equipment. If you’re confused about what you can and can’t claim, just remember that your trip to an accountant is tax deductible!