With the end of the financial year just around the corner, most people start thinking about their tax return and what they will do with their refund this year. But if you don’t know what you can claim for and what records you need to keep, then you could be costing yourself hundreds of dollars in lost tax refunds each year.
So here are some tips from Tracey Collins at Personal Tax Specialists Pty Ltd that should help you get your tax return right and make sure you maximise your refund this year.
1. Take photos of your receipts – most people find it hard to keep track of their receipts for work expenses, so they don’t get to claim as much as they should when it comes to tax time.
Your accountant can only claim for expenses that you can prove you paid for. So instead of keeping a shoe box full of receipts try taking a photo of them on your phone. There are even free iPhone apps available that will file your photos away ready to retrieve at tax time and give to your accountant.
Just make sure you keep a backup copy of your photos!
2. Exercise clothing and shoes – to be able to claim for track suits, shorts, tops, socks, arm bands, head bands and running shoes they will all need to be part of a compulsory work uniform and have your employers’ logo on them.
To ensure you can claim for all of these costs, your employer needs to have a compulsory uniform policy that states the colour, style and type of clothing and accessories that create your distinctive work uniform and they must strictly enforce this policy.
If you have a compulsory work uniform, you are also able to claim for the cost of laundry and dry cleaning of your uniform items.
3. Sun protection if you train outdoors – if, as part of your work, you hold training sessions outside, then you will be able to claim for the cost of sun protection. This can include the purchase of hats, sun glasses and sunscreen.
4. Attending expos and competitions – if you travel to attend fitness expos, training courses or competitions then you can claim for all of the associated costs. This could include entry fees, travel expenses (bus, train or air fares or car expenses, tolls and parking) as well as accommodation and meals if you need to stay away overnight.
5. Other work expenses – some of the other expenses that workers in the fitness industry can claim for are;
- CDs, DVDs or music downloads used for classes,
- MP3 players used for classes,
- membership fees, for example Fitness Australia,
- weights and other fitness equipment used with clients,
- internet connection fees, where you use the internet for work (for example checking emails and making appointments, researching equipment, classes or training courses)
Once you know what to claim for, you also need to make sure you prepare your return correctly to make sure you get the best refund possible. You can either do it yourself using E-Tax, the Tax Office’s online tax return software, or use an accountant to do it for you.
If you need help from an accountant, do your homework. Like most things, you usually get what you pay for. Generally, the cheaper the fee, the less contact you will get with a qualified accountant and the more you will have to know about what you can claim and how to do it.
The best advice is to find an accountant who knows about the fitness industry and what you can claim for. They should spend the time with you to make sure you know how to maximise your deductions in the future and be available to answer any questions you have about your return or tax in general throughout the year, not just at tax time.
For a full list of tax deductions for the fitness industry, go to the Personal Tax Specialists website https://personaltaxspecialists.com.au/what-deductions-can-you-claim.
About Personal Tax Specialists
At Personal Tax Specialists we prepare personal tax returns for our clients located throughout Australia. With over 20 years experience in tax, we know what you can claim and how to get you the best tax refund possible. There’s no need to come to an office or make an appointment, you can do everything from home at a time that suits you.
See our website www.personaltaxspecialists.com.au for more information and to find out how to become a client.
Tracey Collins, for the Personal Tax Specialists team
Personal Tax Specialists Pty Ltd
Your time and tree friendly tax accountants