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Tax time for tradies

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has prepared a one-page cheat sheet to help tradespeople work out what they can and cannot claim.

To claim a work-related deduction, you must have spent the money yourself, and you can’t have been reimbursed. It must also be directly related to earning your income. And you must have a record to prove it.

If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion. Deductions for tradies include travel expenses, clothing expenses, self-education expenses, home office expenses, phone expenses, tools and equipment, and other expenses.

The ATO also warns that you are accountable for the claims you make in your tax return, even if you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge it on your behalf.

“There’s no such thing as a standard deduction – this is a myth,” says the ATO. “There’s no ‘safe’ level to claim a deduction where you haven’t spent the money or it’s not related to earning your income. Make sure you have records to prove your claims.”

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