tax deductions for lifeguards

If you work as a lifeguard, at the beach or at a pool, some of the tax deductions you may be able to claim on your personal tax return are:

Meals and Travel

  • The cost of buying meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer (you can claim for your meals without having to keep any receipts, provided you can show how you have calculated the amount you spent)
  • The cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, meetings, competitions and training courses in relation to your work (if you need to stay away overnight you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation)
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to collect materials and supplies, travel between 2 or more places of work, to attend meetings, training courses and work-related competitions (to claim for car costs it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes and then we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year)

Work Clothing

  • The cost of buying compulsory uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers – your uniform should have your employer’s logo on it to ensure it is tax deductible). The cost of general exercise clothing is NOT deductible (including track suits, running shoes, t-shirts etc) unless it has your employer’s logo on it
  • The cost of laundry or dry cleaning of your uniforms
  • The cost of buying sun protection items, including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and UV protective shirts or jackets

Training

  • The cost of short training courses related to your current job, for example first aid, OH&S, resuscitation, lifeguard, rescue, ATV, IRB, RWC operator or management courses (you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travelling to and from the course and any accommodation and meal expenses if you are required to stay away overnight)

Work Tools & Equipment

  • The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work, including binoculars, radios (and waterproof cases), rescue board, rescue tubes, electronic organisers, laptop computers and mobile phones
  • The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work, for example safety gear, first aid equipment, backpack or belt bag, stationery, diary, work bag used to carry work equipment
  • The cost of insuring your work equipment

Other Work Expenses

  • The cost of annual association membership fees or union fees
  • The cost of work-related magazines and journals
  • The cost of work-related books (these could include first aid, resuscitation, management, OHS, surf safety)
  • The cost of renewing work related licences, this does not include your drivers licence
  • The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rental (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year)
  • The cost of work-related internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job, for example in relation to training, new lifesaving methods and equipment)
  • The cost of maintaining a home office if you are required to complete work at home (you should keep a diary to record how many hours per week you spend working from your home office)

General Expenses

There are some tax deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns:

  • The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items)
  • The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts
  • The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work – if you don’t have this insurance you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile)
  • Your tax agent fees (the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year)
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation etc)

We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are work related, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.

If you would like any more information about the deductions listed or if you would like the Personal Tax Specialists team to prepare your tax return for you to ensure you maximise your claims this year, contact us at info@personaltaxspecialists.com.au.