Tax deductions without receipts

August 12th, 2013



Tax deductions without receipts

You may be able to claim a tax deduction without a receipt!

Many of you are aware that you can claim up to $300 of work related tax deductions without receipts.  You also have probably been told that if you go over that threshold then you need to keep a receipt for everything.  Well this is not technically correct!

The Tax Office allows up to $200 worth of small items costing less than $10 each to be claimed as a tax deduction without a receipt if they are recorded in a diary.  There are so many people that could make more use of this little bonus generously provided to us by the tax office.  Here is an example of some of the potential work related tax deductions that cost less than $10:

  • USB’s
  • Printer Paper
  • Printer cartridges
  • Batteries
  • Pens
  • Pencil Case
  • Rulers
  • Highlighters
  • Computer Mouse
  • Folders
  • Note Pads
  • Note Books
  • Plastic Sleeves
  • DVD’s
  • Diaries
  • Hole Punch
  • Stapler
  • Washing Powder if you are using your own estimate to claim laundry expenses
  • Small tools
  • Watch
  • Calculators
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats

Small items really do add up.  Unfortunately they are often purchased as a spare of the moment thought while pushing the trolley down the stationery isle in Woolworths or Coles.  The last thing we have time to remember after getting through the checkout, navigating our way out the car park and getting home, is to file our grocery receipt with our tax records just because we purchased a $5 stapler.  In fact, if you’re anything like me, your receipt gets left sitting at the self-serve checkout in exactly the same spot as the machine spat them out.  So if your receipt ends up in the bin, then you can make the following entry in your diary:

1st August 2011  Woolworths        Stapler              $5

Note that your diary entry must include the date, a description of the item purchased, the place you purchased it from, and the amount.

So remember each item has to be less than $10, and the maximum you can claim using this method is $200.  Also, don’t forget the most important thing of all – the item must be related to the earning of your assessable income to be able to claim a tax deduction in the first place.


My final word

Still can’t be bothered filling in your diary?  Well maybe this will help!  The average Australian salary/wage tax payer is in the 32c in the dollar tax bracket.  An extra $200 tax deduction will mean around an extra $80 in your tax refund.  Ladies that is a pair of shoes, and guys that’s a new power tool for the shed.  Every little bit counts!


I Recommend

If you would like to read the section of the tax act that this article relates to you can read it here

I also recommend this practice statement from the Australian Tax Office – Substantiation of deductions claimed by individual taxpayers for work and car expenses incurred in the course of earning non-business and non-investment income.   It has some great information on what the tax office will accept in regards to electronic records.  Many clients often ask if a bank statement or credit card statement will suffice as a receipt for the ATO.  Well this practice statement will give you the answer!

Did you like this article?  Why not download our free book!


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