What tradies can claim on their tax return.
What tradies can claim on their tax return. Claudia Baxter

Tradies guide: what you can claim on tax

STRESSED out over tax time? Don't be.

If you are confused about what you can claim, this is the guide for you.

The Daily Mercury spoke to Launch Accounting director Tim Kummerfeld about how business owners and those in the mining industry should approach their tax return.

Mr Kummerfeld, who lives in Mackay, is the founder of Foodie Coaches and has extensive business and accounting knowledge.

Mr Kummerfeld's advice:

As a general rule of thumb, if you spend your personal funds for items which you genuinely use for work purposes and are not reimbursed for these items, you can claim a deduction.

In our region, deductions for workers in the mining and trade industries can be significant. . Assuming you drive your own vehicle to and from site and are required to carry your "bulky tools" with you, you can sometimes claim.

You could use either the cents-per-km or log book methods when claiming deductions in the logbook section. As a general rule of thumb, the cents-per-km method works best for those with older vehicles purchased more than five years ago and the logbook method works well for new vehicles due to the additional depreciation you can claim.

You can also claim items you use while driving, for example, eye protection. If you are driving long distances for work purposes and have specific glasses that you wear on those occasions, you can claim a deduction if you bought the glasses during the financial year.

Another tax-deductible item is your mobile phone.

If you pay $100 each month for your mobile phone and 50 per cent of your mobile use is for directions to job sites, calls to your supervisors and on-the-job research, this would enable a $600 deduction. 

There can sometimes be confusion about what items can be claimed when working away from home.

Generally, employers cover all items while we are away and this is where some confusion may arise.

To put simply, if the employer pays for some items, but not all, then the employer may pay an allowance to the employee for living away.

In this case the employee may be entitled to a claim for the amounts which were spent whilst working away.

Overall for individuals, it is important to remember that if our employers are paying for all of our work-related items then we are on a pretty good wicket.

While we may not be entitled to as many deductions, we do not have to be reaching into our pocket for items which are not benefiting us.