EOFY year is upon us and it’s important to ensure you are to date with your tax obligations. The information below has been provided by Airtax, a digital tax service created specifically to cater for the needs of sole traders and independent contractors residing in Australia. Care Hive recommends that you should always seek advice from a registered tax agent in relation to your own circumstances.
Care and support workers on average claim over $3,127 in tax deductions in their tax return according to data published by the ATO.
For care workers earning between $40,000 to $90,000 per year these deductions can provide a tax refund of up to $1,078.
Many care workers may miss out though because they do not understand what dedications they may be entitled to claim.
To help care and support workers with their tax return this year, Airtax has created this essential checklist of 10 tax deductions that care workers commonly claim.
10 common tax deductions for care workers
- Car Expenses
- Education and training
- Certificates and checks
- Working from home expenses
- Mobile phone and internet bills
- Computer equipment
- Tax Accountant
1. Car Expenses
Care and support workers may drive their car for work and will be able to claim a car expense deduction.
Whilst you cannot claim trips between your home and work, you may claim trips between one place of work to another. For example, going from one client’s house to visit another client.
In addition to car expenses, care workers may have other travel expenses. These may include tolls, public transport or food.
Whilst travelling between home to work cannot be claimed, travel from one client to another client or with a client for activities such as an excursion, may be able to be claimed.
Whilst you cannot claim the cost of your regular meals that you have whilst at work, if you are having a meal with your client you may be able to claim the cost of the food and drinks you have together.
Care workers who are employees are often required to wear a compulsory uniform. This is usually a branded uniform.
If you purchased a compulsory uniform, then you may be able to claim this amount.
You may also claim the cost of cleaning a compulsory uniform. You can claim a cleaning deduction even if you washed the clothes yourself at home.
4. Education and training
Education for care workers commonly includes training courses such as first aid and CPR. It can also include tertiary qualifications such as Certificate IVs in Community Services, Disability or Aged Care.
If you attend these education courses whilst working as a care worker you may be able to claim the amounts you paid to attend these courses.
5. Certificates and checks
Care workers will often be required by their employer, client or job platform to obtain one or more certificates. The most common certificate is a police check.
Care workers who work with children will generally need to get a working with children check.
Out of pocket costs that you paid yourself to obtain these certificates may be deducted.
Commonly care workers will purchase items to help them do their job.
These items may include stationary for planning activities with clients, hand sanitiser to maintain hygiene whilst with clients, sunscreen for sun protection when outside with a client.
If you are not reimbursed for these expenses you may also claim these as a deduction in your return.
7. Working from home expenses
Care workers commonly do some work at home. This may include submitting your timesheets, researching activities for your client as well calling and emailing your clients or employer.
For the hours you work at home, you may be able to claim a deduction to cover expenses such as electricity, cooling and heating.
Having a dedicated work area at home (e.g. in a spare room) increases the amount that can be deducted. In the 2019-20 financial year a deduction can be claimed even without a dedicated work area at home.
To claim a deduction for these expenses, all you need to do is estimate the number of hours worked from home. This is then multiplied by the relevant rates for the period the hours were worked.
8. Mobile phone and internet bills
Care workers commonly use their phone to do their job. Some may also use a computer connected to their internet at home.
Mobile phones and computers are often used for making calls to employers or clients, searching for new jobs on platform such as Care Hive, researching activities to do with clients and organising your calendar.
If mobile phones and computers are used for work purposes, then a deduction for the mobile phone and internet bills may be made. If also used for personal use, then only a portion of these bills can be deducted.
9. Computer equipment
In addition to the deductions for mobile phone bills and internet, care workers may also be able to claim the cost of purchasing their mobile phone and computer.
Care workers who work as a sole trader may deduct the cost of purchases of mobile phones and computers during the 2020 financial year (i.e. 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020).
Care workers who are employees may deduct the cost of purchasing a mobile phone or computer if they purchased these items of equipment for less than $300.
For computer equipment that costs over $300, employees may still be able to claim a deduction for the depreciation.
10. Tax Accountant
Some care workers may have used the services of a tax accountant like Airtax to help them prepare and lodge their tax return in the prior year.
The amount paid to the tax accountant can be claimed as a deduction in the year that it is paid.