10 Less Common Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Claim

We’ve all put 2020 behind us, and it’s time for a positive fresh start with organisation and getting ahead in the New Year 2021. While taxes are not something we like to think about this time of year, it’s the perfect time to start getting organised about what you need for tax time and what deductions you can be eligible for.

Here are some more of the unusual tax deductions you may not even be aware you can claim.

1. Sunscreen

If your profession means you’re outside working all day, you can include SPF protection, and for women, this also includes makeup with SPF. However, this doesn’t include if you happen to have a few work meetings outdoors in the park or outside space.

2. Moisturiser

While the travel industry isn’t in full swing for this year, we’re all hoping it will make a resurgence soon, if you’re a pilot or air hostess you can claim hydration moisturisers. Everyday makeup can’t be claimed; however, hydration blends can be.

3. Work handbags

Each year you can claim a workbag. A laptop bag or carry backpack can be claimed, but you’ll need to be careful when trying to claim a designer luxury handbag. If you can prove you carry your laptop, tablet, documents in a bag for work you can claim it. But the ATO will be onto it if you try and put through a $3000 Louis Vuitton tote, so talk to your tax advisor on what you can claim.

4. Protection clothing

Wet weather gear and sun protection clothing can be claimed for anyone who works outdoors full-time. Some of the jobs where this happens are for lifeguards, tradies, construction workers, farmers, road workers. Things to claim could be hats, gloves and waterproof clothing. Shoes can also be claimed if they are compulsory work shoes like work boots.

5. Home office

You can claim expenses related to running a home office if you’re an employee who can prove you regularly work from home. These can be a certain amount of your bills relating to phone, internet and electricity. Electricity is harder to claim, and you’ll need to prove consistent work patterns of working from home for a set period. Also, furniture items such as a printer, office chairs and laptops can be claimable.

6. Further education

As long as it’s work-related and you’re doing further study with a qualified education provider, you may claim study expenses. You can’t claim expenses relating to a HECS or HELP study debt, and unfortunately, there are also rules on study related to your specific job. So, in other words, you can’t do an interior design course because you want to remodel your home and try and claim it as a deduction if your main job is an accountant.

7. Gym equipment

Before you start running off to buy the latest treadmill for the office, check with your tax advisor on what can be potentially claimed for your line of business. But if you have an office set up, you could be eligible to claim things like an x-box console, ping pong table or pool table if you have a leisure area to keep your workers happy and engaged in better productivity.

8. Laundering your work uniforms

If you have a work uniform, you can claim $1 per load of washing as long as you have receipts. If it’s upwards of $300, you’ll need written evidence that it’s a uniform and not clothes you wear to work and home.

9. Paintings

If you have a small business with a turnover of less than $10 million, you can claim assets including paintings and artwork. The deduction threshold for this is now unlimited. If you’ve been wanting to buy a particular artwork for a waiting room clinic or boardroom, for instance, this may be a tax deduction.

If you qualify for any of the above deductibles, your next tax bill could look quite different. Always confirm which items you can deduct on the ATO website though, as rules can change.

10. Media subscriptions

In the new digital media world, many media publications are now subscription based and can be deductible if they relate to your trade or profession. Subscriptions to newspapers, professional magazines, TV journals and podcasts can be claimed if they can be proven to relate to your profession.

At Charter Partners, we can help you understand and navigate what can be claimed for your business. We can also offer services in business mentoring, financial planning, bookkeeping, financial forecasting and taxation planning.


Anthony McPhee

Anthony McPhee, Principal

B.Bus (Accy) QUT | FCPA, SSA (SMSF Specialist Advisor with the SMSF Association) & Registered Tax Agent

Anthony has over 25 years accountancy, taxation and superannuation (SMSF) experience. He eagerly welcomes a challenge and his passion is in small business accounting, superannuation, consulting and taxation advice. He provides real business benefits for each of his clients and is well regarded for his succinct and accurate accounting skills. Anthony is also a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) specialist with Australia’s leading SMSF body, The SMSF Association.

Learn more about Anthony.

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