Tax Tips for Teachers & Tutors
Tax tips for Teachers & Tutors
Author: Aziz Hassan
June 02, 2021 · 5 min read
Depending on your profession or trade, the deductions that you can make when tax time comes around will vary greatly. This is especially true for teachers, or people working in the education discipline.
There is a range of benefits you can claim on your final return, but it can often be hard to keep track of everything you are eligible for.
To help keep tax time simple for you, our specialists over at Immunity Accounting have put together an easy-to-understand guide to get the most out of your return.
TEACHER SPECIFIC EXPENSES YOU CAN CLAIM AS DEDUCTIONS
- You can claim any self-education expenses you have incurred. This includes course fees and conference costs, as long as it relates directly to your job.
- If you work from home, even part-time, you can claim a range of deductions. This includes deductions for office equipment, work-related phone calls, electricity costs, and even internet access charges.
- Any equipment you have purchased for work can be directly written off. This includes computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, printers, and more.
- As long as the total claim for these assets is less than $300, you can write off its entire value.
- If your assets cost more than $300, you’ll need to write off its value over a number of years, at a depreciation value.
- You can claim a deduction for your travel costs if you:
- Drive between different jobs within your total workday. This is common for substitute teachers who may visit multiple schools in a day.
- Drive between different locations for the same employer within the same day. This may occur if you are operating a field trip or meditating exams at an external location from your campus.
Claiming a deduction for commute costs is often not possible. However, there are very specific contexts in which this is acceptable. For example, if you are required to transport bulky equipment or tools to your work.
You can be eligible for this deduction if:
- You are required to transport the equipment by your employer.
- The equipment is essential to you performing your job.
- No secure area has been provided to store this equipment at your workplace.
- The equipment is bulky – at least 20kg or difficult to transport.
If you plan to claim a deduction on your car expenses, the ATO will require you to keep a logbook of your travels. This will allow the ATO to calculate a cents per kilometre rate of return for your claim.
The ATO understands that those working in education incur a lot of side costs when on the job. It’s for this reason that the ATO allows anybody working in education to claim a deduction on the portion of the cost of:
- Phone and internet usage.
- Excursions, school trips and camps.
- First aid courses.
- Seminars and conferences.
- Protective equipment such as sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen.
- Teaching aids.
- Technical or professional publications.
- Union and professional association fees.
TEACHER SPECIFIC EXPENSES YOU CAN’T CLAIM AS DEDUCTIONS
- Any self-education costs that relate in a general fashion to your job, or is designed to help you transition into a new career. This includes self-education costs for transitioning within the education discipline.
- Home office expenses that relate to the cost of your mortgage interest, rent, or insurance.
- Commute costs for your workplace, even if you live far away. This includes out-of-hours travel for events such as parent-teacher meetings.
- Any gifts you may have purchased for students.
- The financial assistance you may have provided for students. This includes paying for lunch, excursion costs, or school books.
ALWAYS KEEP RECORDS
A foundational piece of advice for any teacher, when it comes to tax time, is to keep detailed records such as bank statements, credit card statements, logbooks, and receipts for any work asset. This will help you significantly when it comes to mapping your deductions for the year.
It’s vital that you build the habit to keep track of every dollar you’re spending because of your job. This will speed up the process for your tax return and will help our Immunity Accounting specialists get the biggest return possible.
If you want more information, or support to get the largest return you can this tax season, don’t hesitate to reach out to our accountants over at Immunity Accounting.
We’d be delighted to help you!
IMMUNITY ACCOUNTING CAN HELP
To find out more speak to one of our tax consultants by clicking this link to book an appointment online or call 1300 514 191.