Tax Tip – Mining site employees may be on the 2013 Tax Office audit target list
In 2013 the Tax Office may be reviewing (or auditing) tax returns lodged by mining site workers to ensure the deductions claimed are correct.
To make sure your return is correct, check our list below for the deductions you are allowed to claim. Also make sure you have the correct records for each of your claims. If you need advice, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you work at a mining site, 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 meals and incidental expenses when you are required to stay away from home overnight (if you receive an allowance from your employer, you can claim the full amount of that allowance provided it is shown on your PAYG payment summary). If you didn’t receive an allowance, you should keep receipts to prove the amount you have spent on all meals and accommodation
- The cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, meetings and training courses not held at your usual place of 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 attend meetings, attend training courses, pick up supplies and driving between or around mine sites (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)
- You can claim the cost of using your own car to travel to and from the mine site, BUT only if you are required to carry bulky tools and equipment for your work AND there is no secure area to leave these items on site overnight
- The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers provided the uniforms have the business’s logo on it)
- The cost of laundry, dry cleaning or repairs of your uniforms
- The cost of buying sun protection items (including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun-protection shirts or jackets)
- The cost of buying other protective equipment that is not supplied by your employer (including overalls, gloves, goggles, masks, steel-capped boots, gum boots, high visibility vests and winter outdoor jackets)
- The cost of work-related short training courses (for example first aid, OH&S, truck and heavy equipment driving, management, staff supervision) which are not run by a University or TAFE. You can claim for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, internet connection, telephone calls, tools or equipment and 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 fees) or TAFE (for example Certificate III or IV in Metalliferous Mining Operations. If you are studying you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for your course
- The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work (including tools, 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, beacons, first aid equipment, backpack or belt bag, GPS)
- The cost of stationery, diary, log book, work bag or briefcase
Other Work Expenses
- The cost of annual memberships or union fees (for example CFMEU fees, however you CANNOT claim a deduction for worker entitlement fund contributions and other similar charges outlined in your union fee statement)
- The cost of renewing machinery operating licences and tickets that are required for your work, but not including your normal drivers licence
- 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, research relating to your job and research for your training courses)
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 email@example.com.