Personal Tax Specialists

tax deductions for disability support workers

There are personal tax deductions for disability support workers that you may be able to claim on your return. These are:

Meals & 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, conferences, meetings, and training courses that are not held at your usual place of work. These travel costs may also be claimed for travel between two or more jobs (if you need to stay away overnight, you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation as other work related expenses)
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to attend meetings, conferences, or training courses that are not held at your workplace, between two different jobs, or to visit clients at their homes or workplaces (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 we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year)

Work Clothing

If you have specific work clothing as a disability support worker you may be eligible to claim these tax deductions:

  • The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers, stockings, socks, and shoes – but only where they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform, the characteristics of which—colour, style, and type—are specified in your employer’s uniform policy, or where each item has the employer’s logo on it)
  • Non-slip nursing shoes if required (even if these are not part of a compulsory uniform)
  • The cost of laundry, dry cleaning, or repairs of your uniforms.

Training

There are tax deductions available to disability support workers when you’ve incurred an expense for training courses or self eduction:

  • The cost of work-related training courses, for example first aid, OH&S, wound-care, treatment updates, and conferences, provided they relate to your CURRENT work. You can claim for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, internet connection, telephone calls, tools, or equipment, as well as travelling to and from the course. You can also claim any accommodation and meal expenses you have to pay if you are required to stay away overnight for your course)
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP) or TAFE, for example Nursing qualifications, provided it relates to your CURRENT work. If you are studying, you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment, and travel required for your course

Work Equipment

If you rely of equipment in your work as a disability support worker these tax deductions may apply:

  • The cost of buying and repairing the equipment you use at work, including medical equipment and tools, electronic organisers, computers, and mobile phones
  • The cost of stationery including your diary, log book, or briefcase

Other Work Related Expenses

  • The cost of union fees
  • The cost of professional memberships and subscriptions
  • The cost of renewing your annual practising certificate if you are also a Registered Nurse
  • The cost of work-related books, magazines, and journals
  • 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 or training)
  • The cost of a fob watch (but not a conventional watch)

General Expenses

There are some tax deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns, not just disability support workers. These include:

  • 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 as a disability support worker (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 arrange this 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 that particular expense or not.

As a disability support worker you have a range of tax deductions available to you. Make sure you’re claiming everything you legally can. 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 or get started by lodging your tax return online now.

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