We know how hard you work every day, and that you deserve to keep as much of the salary you've earned as possible. But do you realise you might be giving money away each year unnecessarily to the taxman? If you don't do a thorough job on your annual tax return and claim all the deductions you are entitled to as a cleaner, you might be missing out on a significant amount of money.
By working with an experienced tax professional, such as one of the amazing consultants here at H&R Block, you're ensuring the very best result. potentially securing a much bigger tax refund than you would have been able to claim if you did it yourself. We know the deductions you may be entitled to as an employed cleaner, and we'll make sure you get them all.
To secure the refund you deserve, first you'll receive an income statement from your employer that will outline all of your salary, wages, allowances and bonuses for the financial year. Next, you have to work out your deductions.
Can I claim any deductions?
The short answer: yes! You can claim deductions on any money spent during the financial year on products or services that directly related to earning your income. You need to have spent the money yourself (it can't have been reimbursed by your employer) and you need to keep a record of the expense such as a receipt or invoice.
What deductions can I claim?
There is a wide range of deductions you can claim as a cleaner, such as:
- Car expenses if you have to transport heavy or bulky equipment to your workplace (such as a portable vacuum cleaner) and you don't have anywhere secure to keep it at your workplace
- Car and other transport expenses if you need to drive between jobs during your work day (for example, if you are cleaning properties at multiple locations on a single day)
- The cost of buying, repairing and cleaning any clothing items that are distinctive to your company (such as a t-shirt with a logo on it or a branded smock or overall)
- The cost of purchasing any protective items for your personal use during or your work, such as a vacuum cleaner or mop
- Phone and internet costs for your own phone or device if you need to use it for work purposes (for example to make/manage appointments) and you're not given a phone by your employer or reimbursed for the costs (records must be kept for claims over $50)
- Self education costs for attending any courses, training or seminars specifically related to your current line of work (such as a course in advanced upholstery cleaning techniques)
What can't I claim?
There are several key expenses you can't claim, including:
- Any regular clothing worn to your workplace that could also be worn outside of work (such as a tracksuit, running shoes or a plain shirt) even if you bought it specifically to wear to work
- Any tools or equipment, such as a bucket or cleaning products, if they are provided by your employer
- The cost of any meals or snacks consumed during the course of a normal work day, even if you are given an allowance by your employer to cover the meal expense
What records do I need to keep?
Sparklingly clean records are really important at tax time, so you need to stay on top of your receipts and have a comprehensive set receipts if you want to get a good tax refund. It's a smart idea to create an easy and reliable system to help you keep on top of this throughout the year.
Remember, you don't need to keep physical receipts, and it's acceptable to keep a digital copy (such as a photo of a receipt or an email receipt) provided it is possible to read:
- The name of the supplier
- Amount of the expense
- Nature of the goods or services
- Date the expense was paid
- Date of the document
You also don't need to keep receipts for expenses under $10 (as long as these don't cumulatively come to more than $200).
What happens if I make a mistake in my tax return?
Don't stress, we know this can happen to anyone. Dealing with it as soon as possible is always the best approach. It's essential that you take great care in putting together the information and supporting documentation when filing your tax return, and only claim deductions that are genuine to avoid penalties and possibly even prosecution from the ATO.
It's easy to make an innocent mistakes sometimes, and if you self-lodged and realise you've submitted incorrect or unsubstantiated claims then you should contact us immediately and we will assist you in making the necessary amendments.
Still have some questions about lodging your tax return? Talk to H&R Block. Our experienced tax consultants will be able to help. Call 13 23 25 for details or find your nearest office and book an appointment online.
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