You may be able to claim deductions for work-related expenses you incurred while performing your job as an employee. You incur an expense in an income year when:
- you receive a bill or invoice for an expense that you are liable for and must pay (even if you don’t pay it until after the end of the income year), or
- you do not receive a bill or invoice but you are charged and you pay for the expense.
These expenses include:
- car expenses, including fuel costs and maintenance
- travel costs
- clothing expenses
- education expenses
- union fees
- home computer and phone expenses
- tools and equipment expenses
- journals and trade magazines.
You may also be able to claim some deductions which are not work related. They are:
- interest and dividend deductions for investments
- deductions for gifts and donations
- a deduction for the cost of managing your tax affairs.
Record keeping for work-related expenses
You must be able to substantiate your claims for deductions with written evidence if the total amount of deductions you are claiming is greater than $300. The records you keep must prove the total amount, not just the amount over $300. The $300 does not include car and meal allowance, award transport payments allowance and travel allowance expenses. There are special written evidence rules for these claims which are explained at the relevant items.
If the total amount you are claiming is $300 or less, you need to be able to show how you worked out your claims, but you do not need written evidence.
If you have prepaid an amount for a service costing $1,000 or more, and the service extends for a period of more than 12 months or beyond 30 June 2018 (such as a subscription to a journal relating to your profession), then you can claim only the portion that relates to 2016-17. You can also claim the proportion of your pre-paid expenses from a previous year that relate to 2016-17.