How to get the most out of your 2024 tax return refund – By Pat Hoey


How to get the most out of your 2024 tax return refund

By Patrick Hoey

The important thing is to keep your receipts for any work expenses over the year. There are a few things you can do before do the 30 June, like putting money into super or pre-paying for any work expenses or making a tax-deductible donation, that will help boost your tax refund

Then at tax return time, summarizing your expenses that you can claim is important, which the most common deductions are:

1. Work car travel – you usually can’t claim travel between home and work unless you have bulky tools, but any travel to irregular workplaces, or from work to other workplaces, or to clients, maybe for training, you can claim that travel.  Which the cents per kilometre rate this year is 85 cents per kilometre.

2. Work clothes – unless it is protective clothing like a tradesmen has, or is a specific uniform for your occupation, to claim a uniform for normal employment, requires the uniform to have a logo (so it can’t be used personally).  If you do work outside or car travel a lot for work, you can claim sunglasses (but just need to apportion the claim between work use and private use).

3. Self-education expenses, courses, training or conferences that relate to your current employment, you can claim the cost of the event, plus travel to it.

4. Tools – any tools or equipment that relate to your work situation.

5. Memberships – any membership or subscriptions that relate to your work (which includes union fees).

6. Office equipment – any office equipment that you need like computers, laptops, printers and stationary can be claimed as a deduction, but you must apportion the work use versus private use part.

7. Mobile phone – claiming your mobile phone for your work-related use, you need to keep a one month diary tracking how often you use the phone for work compared to how often you use the phone privately (which includes using the phone for phone calls, text messages, emails, music, sports, social media, etc).

8. Home office – these claims are now tougher where the ATO requires you to log your work hours over the year. Which then you can claim a percentage of your home internet cost, home electricity costs, home phone costs – but need to have a diary showing the separation between work use and private use of these items (across all people in the household). The ATO does allow you to claim 67 cents per hour to make it easier for you to claim your home, internet, mobile and home phone, electricity, stationary and computer consumables – but if you are claiming your mobile phone, this rate sometimes isn’t the best outcome for you.

9. Donations – Any donations to tax deductible charities.

10. Superannuation – any contributions you pay into super can be claimed as a tax deduction (but only up to the year’s maximum limit of $27,500 (which includes what your employer has already put in for you)).

11. If you are paying for income protection insurance, this can also be claimed (but not life or trauma insurance).