Yes, it's tax time

Posted on June 2021 By Speller International
Lukas Blazek U Av Yasdkzq8 Unsplash

 

Tax time is here again so we have some advice straight from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that will help SAP specialists get the best deal when they lodge their returns.

You might remember in response to the expectation that work from home claims would soar due to lockdowns, last year the ATO introduced a new shortcut method.

The method meant people could claim 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate specific running costs.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh says the ATO is expecting many more people to use the method for the 2020-21 tax year, which finished on June 30.

Claimants need to know though that the shortcut is all-inclusive - you can’t claim the shortcut and then claim for individual expenses such as telephone and internet costs and the decline in value of new office furniture or a laptop.

Taxpayers can still claim under the existing arrangements if they choose – but remember this does mean you’ll need good records and details of individual expenses.

The ATO cautions there are a few things you can’t claim in either method. These are

  • Personal expenses such as coffee, tea, milk, and toilet paper (why is toilet paper always such an issue?). While they might normally be supplied by your employer, they are not directly related to earning your income

  • Large expenses up-front. Any asset that costs over $300 (either in total or per item), such as a computer, can’t be claimed immediately. Instead, these claims should be spread out over several years

  • You generally can’t claim occupancy expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, property insurance, land taxes and rates.

Remember that you need to get and keep records of expenses you want to claim. This is usually a receipt but can be another form of written evidence such as an invoice. Records can be electronic (for example, you can take a photo of your receipt, or use an app). The handy myDeductions tool in the ATO app is an easy way to capture information on the go, making tax time quicker by uploading your deductions to your tax return.

Melbourne tax advisor Sarah Rosaia says that SAP specialists can also claim SAP learning hub subscriptions.

“Generally, any out-of-pocket expenses that are directly incurred in earning income are deductible - the certification is required to access the systems in order to work on the projects so this easily meets the criteria,” she says.

Other deductions you may also be able to claim include

·      Study expenses if it directly relates to your current employment

·      Travel expenses if you drive between separate sites on the same day, or drive to and from an alternate workplace, and

·      Professional association or union fees.

More information about tax time is available from registered tax agents and of course available at ato.gov.au/home