tax deductions for real estate employees

If you work as a real estate salesperson or rental manager, 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 and training courses as well as to inspect properties of potential vendors or rentals and to show prospective purchasers or renters, to erect signage and take photographs (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 inspect properties of potential vendors or rentals and to show prospective purchasers or renters, to erect signage and take photographs, attend meetings or training courses or to travel between 2 offices (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, ties and scarves – your uniform should have the business’s logo on it to ensure it is tax deductible)
  • The cost of laundry or dry cleaning of your uniforms
  • The cost of buying any sun protection items required if you work outdoors at least part of the day (including sun glasses, hats and sunscreen)

Training

  • The cost of work-related short training courses or conferences, for example first aid, OH&S, bookkeeping, sales techniques, customer service, computer skills or management, which are not run by a University or TAFE (you can also claim for the cost of travelling to and from the course and any accommodation and meal expenses if you are required to stay away overnight)
  • The cost of attending compulsory CPD training courses
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP fees) or TAFE (for example Diploma in Property (Real Estate). If you are studying, you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for your course

Work Tools & Equipment

  • The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work, including electronic organisers, laptop computers and mobile phones
  • The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work, for example stationery, diary, work bag or briefcase and presentation costs for properties

Other Work Expenses

  • The cost of renewing your annual Certificate of Registration
  • The cost of work-related magazines, journals or books (these could include sales, customer service, computer, management or property investment books)
  • The cost of purchasing newspapers containing property sections
  • The cost of advertising through newspapers, letterbox drops and signage (where you are paid on a commission basis)
  • 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 or research relating to your job)
  • 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.