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It's tax time - helpful tips for Tradies

Tax time can be a bit daunting, but knowing what you can claim on your taxes can really help your bottom line. From deducting the cost of tools and equipment to claiming travel expenses and training costs, there are many ways to reduce your taxable income. We've gathered some helpful tips from various sources to guide you through the process and ensure you're not leaving any money on the table.

While we strive to provide accurate and useful information, it's important to mention that (obviously) we are not a professional tax agency! The advice and tips shared here are meant to give you a general idea of what you might be able to claim. For personalised advice tailored to your specific situation, we recommend consulting with a qualified tax professional. They can help you navigate the complexities of the tax system and maximise your deductions.

Can I claim this item as a tax deduction?

You can claim deductions for expenses incurred during the financial year that directly contribute to earning an income. But there are two important points to remember:

  • You must have personally spent the money (it cannot have been reimbursed by your employer), and

  • You need to maintain a record of the expense, such as a receipt or invoice.

We’ve put together a handy set of questions to ask yourself about whether you can claim something as a deduction:

  • Is it directly related to your work or required for your work?

  • Did you pay for it yourself?

  • Do you have a receipt, invoice or proof of purchase?

  • Were you reimbursed for the cost by your employer?

Common Tax Deductions for Tradies

You can claim tax deductions for work-related expenses, including:

  • Workwear with a “logo” and protective items like hi-vis, boots and safety glasses

  • Tools and equipment which has been purchased, leased or repaired

  • Laundry/cleaning of work-related clothes that have employer logos or text

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses if you work outside

  • Work-related tablet, computer and mobile phone expenses

  • Home office expenses

  • Training courses and certifications (if directly related to your current role)

  • Deductible Car expenses including parking, tolls, running expenses, fuel, km driven etc.

  • Travel and accommodation expenses when working away from home

  • Union fees are tax deductible

You may also be able to claim the cost of:

  • Permits, licences and services, such as a forklift or heavy vehicle permit (but not the cost of getting or maintaining a private drivers licence)

  • Self-education expenses, such as upskilling directly related to your existing business

  • Your phone and internet

Extra Tips

Keep Your Receipts - Always keep receipts and records of your purchases! You need a clear record to substantiate your claims. Digital copies are also acceptable and can be more durable than paper.

Don’t Double-Dip - Make sure you only claim each expense once. You cannot claim a deduction for the same expense twice, eg: claiming the same cost under both tools and travel.

Log Work-Related Travel - If you travel for work, such as visiting different job sites, keep a logbook and detailed records of your travel expenses. 

To dive deeper into what you can claim and how to do it, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website using the link we've provided below. The ATO offers detailed guidance and resources to help you prepare your tax return accurately and efficiently. By staying informed and taking advantage of available deductions, you can keep more of your hard-earned money. 

Check out this ATO page to get the best info on your tax claims today.


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