Tips on what you can claim to help nail tax time

DOING your tax may be a frustrating task, but it's important to learn how to reduce your tax liability.

Do you know what tax deductions and offsets you may be eligible for?

The following tips may help you legitimately reduce your tax liability in the 2015-16 return.

Claim work-related deductions:

Claiming all your work-related deduction entitlements may save considerable tax.

Typical work-related expenses include employment-related telephone, mobile phone, internet usage, computer repairs, union fees and professional subscriptions.

Note that for the first time ever the ATO is checking these claims in real time.

Claim only what you are legally entitled to claim and ensure that you have all necessary receipts or credit card statements to back-up your claims.

Claim home office expenses:

When part of your home has been set aside primarily or exclusively for the purpose of doing work, a home office deduction may be allowable.

Typical home office costs include heating, cooling, lighting costs, and even depreciation of your office equipment.

To claim the deduction you must have typically kept a diary for at least four weeks of the hours you worked at home.

For more information on home office expenses see http://www.ato.gov.au or your CPA Australia-registered tax agent.

Claim self-education expenses:

Self-education expenses can be claimed provided the study is directly related to either maintaining or improving your current occupational skills or it is likely to increase your income from your current employment.

If you obtain new qualifications in a different field through study, the expenses incurred are not tax deductible.

Typical self-education expenses include course fees, textbooks, stationery, student union fees and the depreciation of assets such as computers, tablets and printers.

However, any Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) repayments are not deductible.

You must also disallow $250 of self-education expenses, which can include non-deductible amounts such as child-care costs.

For more tax time tips head to CPA Australia or ato.gov.au.

- Information from CPA Australia



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