5 Tax Expenses Construction Workers Can Claim

5 Tax Expenses Construction Workers Can Claim

We all want to minimize our tax payments. Here, we look at 5 areas you might be able to claim tax on if you work in construction.

(Remember, taxation is a complex topic, and we always recommend you talk to the tax office or your tax agent.)

Generally, the key is that any claimed expenses need to be directly related to your work. If your claims exceed a total of $300, you must have proof of that expense. Generally, you need to retain proof of all your expenses for at least 5 years, and these must be in English.

A number of these points vary depending on whether or not you are registered as a sole trader (have an ABN).

In this article, we’ll go over:

  1. Vehicle and Travel Expenses
  2. Work Clothing
  3. Training
  4. Tools and Equipment
  5. Other Professional Fees

1. Your Vehicle

Sole Traders

If you own a separate work vehicle, you are able to claim 100% of your vehicle expenses. However, you must have evidence of a separate personal vehicle.

If you share your personal vehicle for work, you may claim the portion of the cost that is used for work purposes. 

You can either use the Log Book method, or you can claim the cents per kilometer method.

Individuals 

Generally, you are not able to claim for the cost of getting to work. However, if you are required to move between sites over the course of a day, these expenses can be claimed.

However, if you need to carry bulk heavy tools to your workplace that requires you to use a vehicle, you may be able to claim the cost of travel with the same method as a sole trader.

2. Work Clothing

You are able to claim a deduction for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect you from risks of injury from your work activities or your work environment.

For example, you can claim:

  • Safety-coloured vests
  • Protective boots such as steel-capped boots or rubber boots
  • Gloves and heavy-duty shirts and trousers

Remember, you cannot claim a deduction for ordinary, everyday clothes – even if you only wear them to work and not as regular clothes.

3. Training

You are able to claim the cost of self-education if it is directly related to your current employment and income, providing that it improves your skills or increases your income for your current role.

You can claim the cost of attending seminars, conferences and training courses such as first aid courses. You will need to keep your receipts for your textbooks, course fees, stationery, internet access, student union fees, travel expenses and other equipment.

4. Tools and Equipment

Although it is common for tools to be supplied, if you do invest in your own, these can also be claimed. 

  • Buying tools and equipment
  • Repairs made to tools and equipment
  • Insurance for tools and equipment
  • Interest on money borrowed to buy these items
  • Computers, tablets and smartphones

You will need to keep private and work tools separate, or you will need to apportion the costs of work-related tools. Remember to keep your receipts to provide an eligible claim.

5. Other Professional Fees

You can claim union and professional organisation fees, journals, periodicals and magazines related to your industry, and accountancy fees. Although you cannot claim the cost of getting work-related licenses and certificates, you can claim the cost of renewing them.

You can claim union and professional organisation fees, journals, periodicals and magazines related to your industry, and accountancy fees. Although you cannot claim the cost of getting work-related licenses and certificates, you can claim the cost of renewing them.

This also includes the accountancy fees for filing your taxes.

Summary

  • Make sure you keep all records for five years.
  • Any claims must directly relate to your work.
  • When something can be used for both personal and work use, you will need to either have separate items, or you will need to demonstrate how much is used in each case.

Disclaimer:

This website does not provide tax advice or legal advice.

As always, if you have any questions about your tax obligations, contact your tax agent, or get in touch with the Australia Tax Office.


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