Pay­back – for some

Tax time is bet­ter for some than oth­ers, writes

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

An­thony Keane

TRADIES beat teach­ers, nurses and farm­ers, but no­body beats real es­tate agents and lawyers when it comes to the big­gest work- re­lated tax de­duc­tions.

A new anal­y­sis of Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice data by Etax. com. au ex­am­ined sev­eral oc­cu­pa­tions and found real es­tate agents made an av­er­age an­nual work- re­lated tax de­duc­tion of $ 8634 – 10 times that of shop as­sis­tants ($ 814).

Lawyers claimed an av­er­age $ 7156, fol­lowed by truck driv­ers at $ 5059, trades­peo­ple at $ 4871 and farm­ers at $ 4428. The av­er­age de­duc­tion for all work­ers is $ 3413.

Etax. com. au se­nior tax agent Si­mone Gielis said many of the big­gest claims came from oc­cu­pa­tions where workre­lated travel was com­mon.

“Real es­tate agents have the largest av­er­age de­duc­tions be­cause the na­ture of their work re­quires a lot of travel ex­penses, car ex­penses and in­ci­den­tal out of pocket costs. They also have cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and li­cences which need re­new­ing an­nu­ally,” she said.

Lawyers had a sim­i­lar col­lec­tion of de­duc­tions, Ms Gielis said, while trades­peo­ple also had tools and tech­ni­cal equip­ment, and could claim trans­port­ing bulky goods to and from work.

Etax. com. au’s anal­y­sis found that teach­ers claimed an av­er­age $ 3164 while nurses claimed $ 2622.

Ms Gielis said work­ers want­ing big­ger de­duc­tions should em­brace tech­nol­ogy such as apps that helped them track their spend­ing, use a tax agent ( as 74 per cent of tax­pay­ers al­ready did) and keep ev­ery re­ceipt.

“If you throw out that $ 1000 re­ceipt and it turns out you could have used it for a tax de­duc­tion, you’ve just cost your­self hun­dreds of dol­lars,” she said.

The Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion’s mon­eysmart. gov. au site says peo­ple should re­mem­ber the ATO’s three rules for claim­ing work- re­lated ex­penses:

have spent the money your­self and not been re­im­bursed.

be di­rectly re­lated to earn­ing your in­come.

have a record to prove you paid for it.

The ATO has pro­duced al­most 40 dif­fer­ent oc­cu­pa­tion spe­cific guides.

ASIC’s se­nior ex­ec­u­tive leader for fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity, Laura Hig­gins, said “record keep­ing is re­ally im­por­tant” and peo­ple should use tools and tech­nol­ogy to track spend­ing through­out the year, not just at tax time.

FAR REACHING: Blake Poole and Jen Thomp­son with their son Bear of­ten travel to their ‘ home’ coun­tries, Ire­land and Canada, , while run­ning their busi­ness, Naked Pa­leo. Pic­ture:

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