Top 3 Tax Deductions to Max Your Tax Refund

The middle of 2018 is fast approaching, and with it comes the dreaded tax return season. Whether you’ve spent the year piling your receipts into an old shoebox or studiously entering your expenses into a spreadsheet, everyone wants to maximise their tax refund. So, the team here at Online Tax Return have compiled the top 3 receipt-free tax deductions you can claim this tax season – you’re welcome!

Generally, you can claim work-related expenses of up to $300 in total without receipts. If your claims climb above that amount, you’ll need that tax deductions shoebox. However, it’s a good habit to get into, especially if you want to increase your tax refund. Not only does good record/receipt keeping safeguard you from scrutiny, but ensures you’re claiming all tax deductions available to you.

Claim your Donations

Do good for your community AND your hip pocket by including your donations in your tax return.

While you can’t claim for those coins dropped in donation buckets throughout the year, you can claim for other donations you make to legitimate charities. There are a short set of rules that apply:

  • Must be AU$2 or more;
  • Made to a charity with Deductible Gift Recipient status;
  • You have proof (ie. receipts or bank statements);
  • It is a money or financial asset donation; and
  • The donation was not made to receive a benefit.

Gifts and donations don’t count, even if they are made to a DGR organisation, if you receive anything in return for your actions. This includes items like raffle tickets, chocolates, membership fees, payments that may provide benefit for the donor, or the cost of attending fundraising events.

Many simply forget to claim their charity donations as tax deductions in their tax return, missing out on one of the many benefits of their donations. Read more about claiming your charity donations on the Online Tax Return blog here.

Claim the Ride

There are a range of specific tax deductions you can claim if you are required to drive for work. While you generally cannot make a claim for the purchase of your vehicle or your private usage, you can claim for common things like:

  • Trips between your home or office and other places for business purposes;
  • Fuel and oil;
  • Repairs and servicing;
  • Interest on a motor vehicle loan;
  • Lease payments; and/or
  • Insurance and registration.

Keep in mind, your drive to and from your usual workplace every day is classed as private use. There are two methods you can use when lodging your tax return to claim travel related tax deductions. You can read more about these methods on the Online Tax Return blog here.

Claim that Wash

If you are required to wear specialised clothing for work, you can claim tax deductions for the purchase and laundering costs of those items in your tax return. Contrary to popular belief, you CAN claim for laundry loads made at home too – not just dry-cleaning costs. This can give your tax refund a healthy boost but is often forgotten too.

Items are classed as uniforms include:

  • Protective clothing;
  • Occupation-specific clothing; and/or
  • Distinct or branded clothing items.

These don’t include general office wear, or unspecific all-black outfits often seen in hospitality.

Generally, you can claim up to $1 per load of only uniform items, or 50c per load when mixed with regular clothing washed at home. Dry-cleaning costs covered include the actual expense amount.

Keep your laundering costs below $150 in your tax return and you won’t need a receipt or logbook. Read more about claiming your laundering tax deductions on the Online Tax Return blog here.

Let Online Tax Return Max your Tax Refund This Year

Are you ready to boost your tax refund? Contact Online Tax Return today and experience the easiest tax return option available. We’re 100% local and open year-round, so we’re here for you even outside of tax time. As a registered tax agent, we are experienced and ready to ensure you are claiming the right tax deductions for your situation.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.