Knowing what work related deductions you can claim and working out the amount accurately will potentially save you thousands of dollars and help to avoid tax penalties.
ATO’s golden rules for claiming work related expenses are:
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- it must be directly related to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it
However, there are certain exceptions to these rules. Some expenses which appears to be related to earning your income are not deductable. For example cost of travelling between home and office is usually not deductable.
Here are some of the expenses usually incurred by people working for marketing communications companies and their tax deductibility.
Client meetings and related expenses
For any of you working outside, and if you go outside regularly to meet clients, you can claim cost of sunglasses, sunscreen and moisturiser.
Entertainment expenses such as lunch with client in a pub are not deductible even if you discuss business with client.
Travel expense incurred for visiting clients is deductable. Travel expense includes car running expense, parking, toll and taxi fare.
Working from home
For those of you who work from home can claim home office running and other related expenses.
Home office running expense includes cleaning, cooling and heating and depreciation of office furniture. Work related portion of internet and mobile expenses are also deductible. Cost of handbags can also be claimed if they’re bought to fit a laptop or tablet.
Outdoor campaign/ business pitch
There are limited circumstances where you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work. Therefore, if you need to carry a set of pull-up banners from home to office or some other location for an outdoor campaign the trip may be deductable.
If you travel form home to a location different from your usual office (for example a client’s office or outdoor campaign venue) the trip will be deductible even if you are not carrying bulky tool.
Technical or professional publications and self-education expenses
You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines with content specifically related to your employment.
Below self-education expenses may be deductible subject to certain conditions.
- course fees (but not HECS-HELP fees), student union
- fees, and tutorial fees
- interest on borrowings used to pay for any deductible self-education expenses
- stationery and textbooks
- books and trade journals
- conventions, conferences and seminars
Professional association fees
Professional association fees such as Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising is tax deductible.
You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing or cleaning a plain uniform or conventional clothing you wear to work, even if you are required to wear a particular type of clothing such as suits or business casuals.
Income protection insurance
You can claim the cost of premiums you pay for insurance against the loss of your income. You must include any payment you receive under such a policy on your tax return.