“If you’re an outdoor worker, such as a tradie, construction worker or farmer, you can
claim sunscreen that you purchase to protect you from the ravages of the sun,” Mr Chapman said.
“If it’s required, other outdoor related attire can be claimed, such as hats, gloves and
waterproof clothing if you work in a wet climate.”
“General make-up can’t be claimed, even if it has sun protection, unless you work outdoors,” he said. “Some specific types of make-up, such as rehydrating moisturisers can also be claimed by flight attendants.”
Handbags can be claimed to carry iPads, phones, calculators, stationary or anything else you need for work.
“Great care is required here,” he said. “The handbag needs to be fit for work purposes and
actually used for work purposes.
“For men, a work briefcase, satchel or backpack should also be claimable.”
“If you own a business where an ambience is necessary, claiming works of art could
be possible and you might even be able to claim an instant deduction if you’re a
small business (aggregate turnover less than $10 million) and the artwork costs less
than $20,000,” he said.
“That can help you to tax effectively decorate public facing areas like office receptions, as well as meeting rooms, boardrooms and staff social rooms. Just don’t think you can claim a deduction if that work of art finds its way into your living room!”
POOL TABLES, PING PONG TABLES, XBOX CONSOLES AND TVS
“Many offices have recreation areas for staff to frequent during breaks and lunch
hours,” he said.
“TVs can also be claimed if they reside in reception areas or in meeting rooms, where they might be combined with video conferencing systems.”
“If you require a security dog to patrol your premises or if you use a dog in farming you’ll be able to claim a deduction for depreciation on the animal plus an immediate deduction for maintenance costs like food and vet bills,” he said.
“If you work uniform is claimable, then typically the cost of cleaning by laundry
or drycleaner is also claimable,” he said.
“Many people use their private phone to make and receive work-related calls, send
and receive work texts and emails, and to surf the internet for work purposes,” he said.
“If so, you can claim the work-related proportion of your mobile phone bills and a
proportion of the cost of the handset against your tax.”
But be careful what you try and claim.
Tax dodgers, expense fudgers and cash operators can no longer escape the ATO’s all-seeing eye, as industry associations warn their members of a quantum leap in sophistication and data sharing this year.
“If you’re doing the right thing you’ve got nothing to be worried about,” said Andrew Gardiner, spokesman for the National Tax and Accountants Association, which has been running a series of seminars on Tax Hot Spots for 2017.
“But the systems have become much more sophisticated with data analysis — information sharing within government departments is broadly available. They are able to isolate data, target people more accurately. It’s like anything — the systems you’re using now, you would have dreamt of three years ago.”