There are many ways you can claim a deduction on your tax return. However, what exactly qualifies as a legitimate tax claim? Could you be losing out on areas you’re not currently claiming for? Or are you risking legal consequence by claiming on something you’re not supposed to?

Here are some areas you should look at when compiling your tax returns:


What you can claim

If you use your vehicle for work purposes, you can a deduction for:

  • Registration
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Fuel
  • Tyres

You can claim for this via one of two methods: one, the cents to KM method or the logbook method.

What you can’t claim

You can’t claim for the things above if you don’t use your car for work purposes. Also, you can’t claim for travel in between your home and workplace, as this is deemed to be private travel. Should you get a speeding, parking or other traffic fine, that’s not claimable either. If you’re on a work trip and take some time for personal use, whatever you do or buy during this period is not claimable.

Work Items and Clothing

What you can claim

If you use a laptop at work and need it to be repaired, you can claim a tax deduction for these expenses. However, you must ensure that the following criteria are met:

  • You use the item at work
  • The item is needed for work-related purposes
  • You only claim a percentage based on work use

You can claim for this by submitting a letter of authenticity from your employer that the item is used as outlined above.

If you have certain work clothing that needs to be worn everyday example protective clothing or occupational uniform, you can claim the laundry or dry cleaning expenses used on these items.

What you can’t claim

If you wear normal/casual clothing to work, you can’t claim for the laundry or dry cleaning expenses for clothes that are not work-specific.

Home-Based Work

What you can claim

If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner working from home, you can claim a greater tax refund than you may expect. These costs include:

  • Telephone
  • Internet
  • Computer
  • Stationery
  • Furniture
  • Lighting

Stones Sharp can claim these for you by providing copies of the bills you pay and detailing the work-related use.

What you can’t claim

You must be careful that you only claim for these utilities for the portion that you use them for work purposes. You’re not allowed to claim for the time that you use them for private matters.


What you can claim

If your donation meets these criteria, you will qualify for a claim on your donation:

  • Proof of payment for gifts
  • Donations must be in the form of money only
  • Donations must exceed two dollars.
  • The organisation you’re donating to has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status

What you can’t claim

You won’t be able to claim it as a donation if it is:

  • Raffle tickets
  • Some items including pens, chocolates or pins
  • Cost to attend a fundraising event
  • Membership fees

Now that you have a better understanding of what you can and can’t claim as part of your tax return, you’ll ensure that not only will you comply with the tax requirements, but you’ll also be giving yourself the best opportunity to receive a substantial return.

For more advice on your tax return or for help lodging it, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today!

Shane Borg

Shane Borg


Shane is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and a Chartered Accountant.

Shane’s passion is to consider the clients, the client’s business and taxation affairs with a holistic approach whilst providing business mentoring, business strategies, systems development, taxation advice and taxation planning in order to assist his clients and their business achieve their goals.

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