If you work in child care, you know how rewarding and challenging it can be. You also know that it can be expensive to keep up with the training, equipment and clothing required for your job. Fortunately, the Australian tax system allows you to claim some of these expenses as deductions on your tax return, which can reduce your taxable income and increase your refund.
What are tax deductions?
Tax deductions are expenses that you can subtract from your income before calculating your tax liability. This means that you pay less tax or get a bigger refund, depending on your situation. However, not all expenses are deductible. You can only claim deductions for expenses that are directly related to earning your income as a child care worker.
What can I claim as a child care worker?
As a child care worker, some of the common deductions that you may be able to claim are:
If you are required to wear any branded or distinctive clothing to work, such as shirts, hats, pants or skirts with a logo or name of your employer, you can claim the cost of buying, repairing and cleaning these items. You can also claim the cost of protective clothing or items that you need for your work, such as aprons, smocks, gloves, sun protection (hats, sunscreen, sunglasses) or protective footwear.
If you undertake any courses, diplomas, certificates or professional development programs that are directly related to your current job as a child care worker, you can claim the fees and related expenses, such as textbooks, manuals, stationery, equipment and materials. You can also claim the cost of renewing your blue card (but not the initial application fee).
If you use your own car for work-related purposes, such as travelling between different jobs or locations on the same day (for example, from one child care centre to another, or from a child care centre to a school or an excursion), or attending meetings or training away from your usual workplace, you can claim a deduction for the running costs of your car. You can use either the cents per kilometre method (up to 5,000 km per year) or the logbook method (if you keep a logbook for 12 weeks) to calculate your deduction.
If you buy and use any equipment or tools that are essential for your work as a child care worker, such as teaching aids, stationery, toys or art materials, you can claim a deduction for the cost or depreciation of these items. However, if the item costs more than $300 and has a lifespan of more than one year, you have to depreciate it over its effective life⁷.
How do I claim these deductions?
To claim these deductions on your tax return, you need to:
- Keep receipts or invoices for all the expenses that you want to claim
- Make sure that the expenses are directly related to your work as a child care worker and not private or personal
- Make sure that you have paid for the expenses yourself and have not been reimbursed by your employer
- Use the appropriate labels and codes on your tax return to report your deductions
- Keep your records for five years in case the ATO asks for evidence
Maintain and retain your receipts and documentation in the best way possible. That is with Deduction Grabber. The ultimate record keeping app by Gotax.
How can I get help with my tax return?
If you need help with preparing and lodging your tax return as a child care worker, you can contact GoTax.com.au. GoTax is an online tax service that offers fast and easy tax returns for individuals and businesses. You can complete your tax return online in minutes with GoTax's simple and secure platform. You can also get expert advice from qualified tax accountants who can help you maximise your deductions and minimise your tax. GoTax is registered with the Tax Practitioners Board and has over 30 years of experience in the tax industry.
To get started with GoTax today, visit www.gotax.com.au.
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