This year’s tax return might look a little different… Working from home, Job Keeper, Job Seeker etc. What can and can’t you be claiming? Read the following 6 steps to ensure you’ve covered all areas of your taxable income before hitting that send button.
1. Individual Tax Rate
What kind of rate should you expect to pay on your income? Use this online calculator here to find an estimate.
Remember that tax is a progressive rate for an individual, not flat.
2. Salary and Wage Income Summaries
This year is the first year we have a fully electronic payment summary process with the introduction of Single Touch Payroll. You won’t receive an email or paper copy necessarily from your employer but instead will need to access your MyGov account to access your income summary for the last financial year (or use a tax agent).
A new income stream for you this year may be Job Keeper if your employer chose to pay you this allowance. This is taxable income for you as an individual and should be included on your payment summary. Job Seeker from Centrelink will also be taxable income.
3. Deductions on your motor vehicle
You can claim vehicle travel expenses if this is part of your work (i.e driving to get mail during the day) for 68c/km up to 5000kms pa.. Home to work travel does not count for this deduction. The 68c/km includes all related vehicle costs such as fuel, servicing, repairs and registration, as well as recognising wear and tear on your vehicle.
4. Home Office and working from home
The ATO in light of COVID-19 has announced a flat rate to claim 80c per hour every hour you work from home from 1st March 2020 which is a nice simple method if you are doing your own tax return. The alternative method is to calculate all relevant home expenses (requires good record-keeping) which may get you a higher tax refund. The alternative method includes claiming 52c per hour for power and home costs. Home internet can be claimed by calculating a reasonable percentage used for work.
5. Look out for other deductions you can claim
You can claim laundry costs if you wear a regular uniform or occupational clothing. Your mobile phone is most likely an essential item for your work therefore a reasonable percentage of the cost of this can be claimed.
6. Investment property
Owning your own investment property can mean you can claim many expenses associated with this. Take note of expenses such as property management fees, cleaning, gardening, rates, repairs and more. It’s probably a good idea to engage a tax agent to make sure you include all deductions, you can even claim a deduction for the fee you pay the tax agent.
For more detail on any of these general tax tips, check out our 30 minute Q&A episode here