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All across Australia, ugg boots are coming out, steaming cups of Milo are becoming the treat of choice and EOFY sales are being advertised everywhere. All signs are telling us it’s time to start dealing with the ‘T’ word… Taxes.
Trying to find the time to sift through all of the paperwork, summarise your expenses and find that long-lost email from 11 months ago can feel impossible – and it’s easy to lose track of what actually makes a difference on your return and what doesn't.
But, if you get your deductions right, you could save yourself some serious cash. When it comes to doing your taxes, you’re already off to a good start if you currently hold private hospital health cover. Why? Because if you earn over a certain amount and don’t have private hospital insurance, you could be charged the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), which is an extra 1-1.5% tax. Find out more about the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
Once you’ve got your hospital cover sorted, you can further nail your FY19-20 tax return with these six things you could claim (but probably don’t):
Many of us have been working from home for a chunk of 2020 and although there are many benefits (hello, track pants), it’s likely you’ve racked up some home office expenses. To help, the government has set up a shortcut to claiming deductions, which will give you 80 cents back for each hour you worked from home between 1 March, 2020 - 30 June, 2020.
Do you subscribe to work-related magazines and journals? You guessed it; you may be able to claim them.
You may be able to claim on your personal super contributions. If you’re an Australian resident and already pay your compulsory superannuation contribution (oftentimes your employer will make this contribution on your behalf), any extra contributions (on top of this) may be tax-deductible.
If you work outdoors, you could be claiming your sunnies and suncream!
If you work outdoors, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays - and the ATO agrees! If you are someone who regularly works in the sun, the ATO allows you to claim the cost of sunscreen and sunglasses.
Using your own car for work? You could be treating it as a taxable expense.
There are some restrictions, but you may be able to either claim using the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method.
Interested in the logbook? Check out the ATO approved GPS logbook app.
We all try to help out where we can and if you made a charitable donation of $2 or more during the financial year, you can claim a tax deduction on your return.
It’s a good idea to keep a record of all tax-deductible gifts and contributions made – it will make claiming just that little bit easier.
The ATO hosts extensive information on their website but it may also help to have a chat to an accountant to see if you’re eligible for a particular deduction.
Keen to find out more about the Medicare Levy Surcharge? Don't forget to check out our article, Do I have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge at tax time?.
Tax Disclaimer: nib is not authorised to provide tax advice. The content in this article is general only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax or accounting advice. It is important to obtain advice from a qualified tax professional.