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  • The SAACS Team

The One & Only Guide to Bulletproof Your Work-Related Expenses

Updated: Jun 7

Hold on to your calculators and put on your thinking caps, tax season is here again! It's the time of the year where your favourite financial superhero (that's us!) swoops in to make sense of the numbers, spreadsheets, and that big, scary word - deductions. But fear not, fellow financial voyagers, we're here to turn the dread of tax season into a walk in the park.

Firstly, you can claim up to $300 in reasonable deductions annually without having to prove anything. It's like a free pass. However, once you cross that magic $300 line, you'll need to substantiate your claims. And no, a heartfelt promise doesn't count as substantiation. So, how do you shield yourself from an ATO audit arrow?

Here's the breakdown:

1. Receipts: Think of them as little nuggets of gold. Receipts should detail what you bought, who you bought it from, how much you paid, and when you made the purchase. Everything from the pens you bought at Officeworks to that training course you took should have a receipt.

2. Bills: If you're juggling a home-office lifestyle, utility bills can become work-related expenses. So, keep them safe, just like those secret Tim Tams you hide from the rest of the family.

3. Motor Vehicle Log Book: If you're racking up the kilometres for work, you need to play travel detective. Record your journeys - where, why, when, and how far. Think of it as a diary entry for your car.

4. Diaries or logs: On the subject of diaries, there are a few you might need to keep:

  • Travel Diary: The ATO requires a diary for travel that takes you away from home for more than six nights. It's like a travel blog but for taxes.

  • Working from Home Diary: Starting from 1st March 2023, you need to track the hours you work from home if you plan to claim under the revised fixed rate method. Or you can complete a 4-week diary representing your work from home patterns. It's like Big Brother, but it’s you watching yourself

  • Minor Expense Diary: This covers expenses under $10 per item, and the total shouldn't exceed $200. It's like documenting your loose change - every little bit adds up!

And because we're always looking out for you, we've crafted some nifty templates to streamline your tax preparation.

Motor Vehicle Logbooks: Excel version | PDF version

WFH 4-week Diary: Excel version

WFH whole year diary: 2023 FY Excel | 2024 FY Excel | 2025 FY Excel

Travel Diary: Word Version

How Long Should You Keep Records?

Five years. It's like storing wine, but without the delicious payoff. And if your return is disputed, you might have to hold onto them for longer.

How to Store Records?

Say hello to the 21st century, where dusty old shoeboxes full of receipts have given way to shiny, organised digital storage. While hard copies still get a tick of approval, digital copies are like a virtual filing cabinet, saving you space and time. Just ensure they're secure and backed up.

Final Takeaway

When it comes to this year's tax preparation, the best way to keep the taxman at bay (and get a good night's sleep) is to adopt the 'no receipt, no claim' principle. Remember, a bit of preparation now can save you a bundle of stress later. So, let’s get your ducks (or receipts, diaries and logs) in a row, put on your tax season game face, and show that tax return who's boss. Remember, we're here for you every step of the way.

Whenever you are ready, feel free to download our TaxExpress checklist to have your tax return preparation underway.

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