Factory Worker Tax Return and Deduction Checklist
As a factory worker, you know all about hard work and deserve to have every last dollar you earn to go into your pocket at the end of each year. So what would you say if we told you a huge number of people literally give money away to the tax department each year, all because they hate doing their tax return?
It might not be the most fun activity in the world, but doing your annual tax return is a chance to legitimately get back some of the money you earned during the year by claiming deductions for your industry and maximising your refund. Our tax consultants are experts at this, and will help you find all the deductions that are relevant for you, including some you've probably never even heard about.
To complete your return as a factory worker, you'll first need an income statement from your employer (previously called a "payment summary" or "group certificate"). This is a summary that outlines all of your salary, wages, allowances and bonuses for the financial year.
You won't need to have a copy of this statement, as it should be lodged by your employer directly to the ATO. Once this has been lodged, we can download the information for you and then help you work out your deductions.
What do I need to know about claiming deductions?
As you know, you're entitled to claim deductions on any money spent during the financial year on products or services that directly related to earning an income. But there are two things you need to remember:
- First, you need to have spent the money yourself (it can't have been reimbursed by your employer), and
- Secondly, 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 factory worker, such as:
- Car expenses, including parking costs and tolls, if you travel between different jobs on the same day (for example from your day job as a factory worker to a second job working in a supermarket) or to different locations for your work, such as between a warehouse and head office
- Any expenses connect to buying, repairing and cleaning any work clothing items that are either part of a uniform or distinctive to your company (such as a shirt with a company logo on it) or have protective benefits such as gloves or steel-capped boots
- Any renewal fees for licences or certificates, or new conditions on your licence specifically related to your work, but not the initial cost of getting these items
- Overtime meals when your employer pays you an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement
- Self education costs for attending any courses, training or seminars specifically related to progressing you in your current line of work, such as a course in workplace safety
- Journals, periodicals and magazines that are specifically related to your job as a factory worker
- Any union and professional association fees
- Any expenses related to buying and insuring equipment or tools specifically required for your work, such as an air compressor, drill or hammer
- The cost of a first aid training course if you're a designated first aid person and need to do first aid training to assist in emergency work situations
- Phone and internet expenses for any work-related usage on your personal phone or device, provided they are not already covered by your employer
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 jeans, drill work shirts or running shs) even if you only wear it for work and bought it specifically to wear to work
- The cost of renewing your driver's licence, even if having it is a condition of your employment
- The cost of buying CDs, talking books, iPods, or any other entertainment devices, even if they are purchased to keep you awake during a long shift
- 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
- Any costs incurred when travelling between your home and your workplace, even if you live a long distance away
What records do I need to keep?
Records are definitely important at tax time, and you should do your best to stay on top of this and have a comprehensive set of receipts if you want to get a good tax refund. It's a good 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?
You need to deal with it as soon as possible, it's as simple as that. It's important 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 lodge yourself and realise you've submitted incorrect or unsubstantiated claims then you should contact H&R Block 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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