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From working animals to taxis, here’s what you can claim at tax time

Certain workers can claim different expenses on their taxes.

Certain workers can claim different expenses on their taxes. Photo: Getty/Westmead Children's Hospital

With little more than six weeks until you can start filling your tax return, it’s probably a good time to think about what kind of claims you can make.

Although there are general deductions you can likely claim no matter what your job is, some might be particularly relevant to you, or some careers may come with different claim opportunities to others.

The New Daily has highlighted some claims that can only be made by workers in specific industries, or that might be particularly helpful within these industries.

Keep in mind some expenses can be claimed across multiple industries.

For more information relating to claims for these highlighted industries or others not mentioned, head to the Australian Taxation Office website here.

It’s also a good idea to seek financial advice from accountants or financial advisers if you are still in doubt.

Agriculture workers

  • Firearms and guns: Where there is a direct connection to your work duties, and your employer hasn’t reimbursed you for expenses, you can claim a tax deduction for the decline in value and maintenance of firearms and guns. You can also make claims for the cost of ammunition and the renewal of your gun licence
  • Licences, permits and cards: You can’t claim the cost of getting your initial licence, regulatory permit, cards or certificates to get a job. But you can claim the cost to renew these if needed to continue to perform your work duties
  • Working animals: If you have a working dog or horse that is used while carrying out your work duties; you are required by your employer to provide your own animal; and you train the animal for their role from a young age and don’t treat them like a pet, you can make a claim.

Building and construction employees

  • Tools and equipment insurance: You can make a claim for the cost of insuring your tools and equipment to the extent that you use them for work-related purposes
  • Overtime meal expenses: You can claim a meal you’ve bought and eaten while working overtime if you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement
  • Sunglasses, hats and sunscreen: You can claim a deduction for the work-related use of sunglasses, hats and sunscreen lotions if you must work in the sun for extended periods and need protection from a real risk of illness or injury. But only claim if you also wear them when you’re not working.

Teachers and education professionals

  • Excursions, school trips and camps: You can claim a deduction for costs incurred when taking students on excursions, camps, educational and sporting trips if these trips have a school curriculum or extracurricular educational benefit

  • Teaching aids: You can claim the cost of objects used for your teaching job and specific subject, ranging from stickers to calculators
  • Taxi, ride share, public transport and car hire: You can claim transport costs if you travel in the course of performing your work, such as taking a taxi from your school to a local pool for the school swimming carnival. But you can’t claim a deduction for travel expenses between home and work.

Hospitality industry workers

  • Hiring equipment: You can claim the cost of hiring equipment that you use for work, as long as you weren’t reimbursed by your employer
  • Laundry and maintenance: You can claim the costs incurred to wash, dry and iron clothing you wear at work – including laundromat and dry-cleaning services – if the clothes are protective, not something you’d wear every day or a uniform
  • Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses: You can claim a deduction for the cost and work-related use of protective glasses if you wear them to reduce the real and likely risk of illness or injury while working.

Nurses and midwives

  • Agency commissions and agency fees: You can claim commission payments you made to a nursing agency, unless your employer has paid the fees already
  • Watches: You can’t claim the cost to buy or maintain watches or smart watches, but you can claim a watch that has special characteristics used for a work-related purpose, such as a fob watch
  • Stationery: You can claim logbooks, diaries and pens that you use for work, unless your employer provides or reimburses you for these items.
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