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Let’s be honest; no one really loves tax time. There’s finding and organising old receipts, making appointments, and while your accountant Trevor seems like a nice guy, you both know you’ve got better ways to spend your time. So when tax time rolls around, it makes sense that you’ll want to get the best return possible to make the whole ordeal worth your while.

It’s important to remember that claiming tax honestly is completely legal and worthwhile, but don’t get greedy. Over-claiming can lead to a letter from the ATO asking for reimbursement with a hefty fine slapped on… added for good measure. There’s also a good chance that it will cause the taxman to investigate your returns from previous years. To help you understand what you can safely claim to get the best return, we’ve compiled this handy list.

Tools under $300

As a rule of thumb, if a tool costs less than $300 you’ll be able to write-off 100% as a tax deduction in the year you purchased it. If you know you’re in the market for an upgrade now’s a good time to do it because you won’t have to wait long for your return. Regardless of when you’ve purchased the tool, make sure you keep your receipt.

Tools and equipment under $20,000

For businesses earning less than $2 million a year (and let’s face it, that’s most of us) instant write-offs are available until June 30, 2017, for tools and equipment that cost less than $20,000.

In previous years, you could only claim the depreciation of the tool over time, so you’d have to wait and claim small deductions over a period of a few years. But in this financial year, you’ll be able to claim instant, one-off, lump sums.

Don’t be fooled though; these deductions are only on the tax paid, not the total purchase cost. Depending on the size of your business, a $20,000 purchase could be eligible for a return of anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000.


If you need to take your tools with you for work purposes, you’re eligible to claim running expenses on your car, which includes fuel and servicing.


Ever arrived at a job only to realise you need to pay for parking? Worry not, that’s a deductible expense, though this is only applicable to parking paid for work-related parking and will require receipts.

Despite the urban myth, parking fines cannot be claimed!

Mobile phone expenses

If you use your phone to make business calls, receive business calls or require your phone to be on standby for the job, then you can claim on your phone bill.

Make sure you have a way to separate your private and business phone expenses; even if this requires keeping a second phone to conduct your business calls on.

Protective equipment

Hard hats, high-vis, gloves, steel capped boots, you name it. If you’re required to wear a specific clothing item for safety on the job, it’s tax deductible.

Sunglasses and sunscreen

If your job requires you to do prolonged periods of work outdoors, then your sun protection is tax deductible. Just remember, when you purchase your 30+ SPF and your new pair of shades, keep the receipt.

Trade Related Insurance, Union and Professional Association Fees

Have you needed to take out public liability insurance or any other insurance that protects your customers or employers? Are you a member of a union or professional association? If so, all membership fees and expenses are deductible.

Your laundry

This is a handy one, if you’re required to wear a uniform to work (anything that has a company name on it), then you’re able to claim laundry expenses. It might be worth talking to an accountant first, but the rough estimate is that it costs $1 per load of washing.


A range of courses, upskilling and education can be deductible if it is:

  • Less than 12 months
  • Paid in full before the end of the financial year
  • Relevant to your current job
  • Potential to claim payments as a tax deduction

To find out if you’re eligible and get an estimate on your deduction check out the ATO’s handy guide to self-education expenses.

Last but not least, the expenses of lodging last year’s tax return can also be claimed this year. With June 30 fast approaching it’s a great time to get your tax return ready and make any last minute purchases to claim for this financial year.


The information in this blog is general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from the website owner,
Kincrome is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the blog information relates to your unique circumstances.
Kincrome is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of the contents of this blog.