Australians have been encouraged to make use of the taxman’s occupation-specific guides when figuring out exactly what to claim as a deduction at tax time.
The Australian Taxation Office has released expense claim guides for nearly 40 occupations, from lawyers, IT professionals and recruitment consultants to truck drivers, pilots, firefighters and cleaners.
There is even a separate section for Defence Force members, gaming attendants, professional sports players and adult industry workers.
Pilots, for instance, are able to claim for first aid courses, flight simulator games, and anti-glare glasses.
Meanwhile, tradies are encouraged to claim deductions for tools or equipment they need to buy for the job, as well as protective equipment like sunscreen or sun hats.
Adult industry workers can claim deductions for consumables, such as condoms and lubricants, as well as commission payments made to an agency.
Real estate professionals should know they can claim deductions on car expenses when travelling between two different jobs or workplaces on the same day, as well as for marketing equipment like cameras used for professional property photos.
And if you’re claiming charitable donations, beware; two-in-three Aussies got it wrong in the 2018 financial year.
“Our occupation and industry guides will help you work out what income and allowances you declare and the work-related expenses you can claim as a deduction,” the ATO stated on its website.
“You must include all the income you received during the financial year in your tax return, including salary and wages and allowances.”
The ‘golden rule’ of tax deductions you must follow
No matter what occupation you work in, there are three rules that don't change, the ATO warned.
You must have spent the money yourself, and you were not reimbursed;
The expense has to directly relate to earning income; and
You must have records, like a receipt, to prove it.
For Aussies earning under $60,000 with fairly simple tax affairs, the ATO has a free service that helps them lodge their tax return.