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Tax Deductions for Teachers

October 28th, 2013

Tax Deductions for Teachers

TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR TEACHERS

The most commonly claimed tax deductions for teachers are:

Internet

Teachers can claim home internet for studying, working and doing research at home.  For substantiation purposes the teacher will need to keep a four week diary to establish a pattern between work related and private internet use.

Home office at 34c per hour

If you study, work or do research at home then you can claim 34c per hour to cover your gas, electricity and furniture depreciation.  To make this claim you don’t need to have a separate home office.  You just need to be working in a room in the house at a time when other family members are not present.   For substantiation purposes you will need to keep a diary for 4 weeks, recording all the hours you were doing work related tasks.  The number of hours you come up with over that 4 week period can be used as a basis for the rest of the year.  The ATO has a great calculator for working out this claim.  You can find it here at the Australian Taxation Office website  

Laptops, iPads and Desktop Computers

Perhaps the most common tax deductions for teachers are iPads, Laptops and Computers.  If you study, work or do research at home then you can claim an iPad, laptop or desktop computer as a tax deduction.  Technology has become an essential part of the classroom, and therefore it is not unusual to find teachers claiming all three of these items.  Just remember to keep a 4 week diary for each electronic device that you want to claim to establish a pattern of work related and private use.  For further information on keeping diary records see my article on Claiming Home Internet as a Tax Deduction.   Some schools offer laptops and iPad’s by way of salary sacrifice.  In many cases you can be substantially better off by salary sacrificing rather than depreciating these items in your tax return.  I suggest you speak to your accountant about the difference between the two options and the benefits each option offers depending on your individual circumstances.

Stationery and Teaching Aids

If you study, work or do research at home then you can claim stationery as a tax deduction.  Stationery includes things like printer cartridges, paper, books, pens and USB’s.  These items are extremely popular tax deductions for teachers.  If you didn’t keep receipts for some of these smaller items you may still be able to claim them by recording them in a diary.  Check out my article Do you Know you Don’t Need a Receipt for every Tax Deduction you Want to Claim. Any resources and teaching aids you buy for the classroom will also be tax deductible. Larger items purchased to use in the classroom, such as televisions, projectors, digital camera’s, cooking equipment and sports equipment can also be claimed as a tax deduction.  Just make sure that you depreciate the item over its useful life if it costs more than $300.  Note that if you use an asset for private purposes as well as for the classroom, you will need to keep a diary for four weeks to establish a pattern of work related and private use.  

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