You know how much hard work gs into making your body fit and healthy – it's exactly the same with your personal finances. If you're consistent and disciplined, and follow all the rules, you'll be in perfect health when it comes to tax season. As you know, it can really help to have some professional help on your side when it comes to doing something unfamiliar, such as your tax return.
This is where experts, such as our experienced tax consultants here at H&R Block, come in. In the same way that you coach and encourage your clients to help them get the best results, our consultants are here to guide and support you to make sure you get the very best return at the end of the year.
The key to success is knowing all the right deductions you can claim, and our team prides itself on being across it all. We're passionate about taxes and we know exactly how to help you – and how to get you a bumper tax return.
To complete your return, you'll need as an employee in a fitness company, 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 an actual 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:
1. First, you need to have spent the money yourself (it can't have been reimbursed by your employer), and
2. 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 fitness industry worker, such as:
- Car expenses if you travel between different jobs on the same day (for example from your job as a personal trainer in a gym to your second job as a swimming instructor at the local pool)
- Any expenses connected to buying, repairing and cleaning any work clothing items that are distinctive to your company (such as a t-shirt, shorts or leggings with a logo on it) or that have protective benefits like a face mask, gloves, sunglasses or anti-glare glasses, sunhats or sunscreen
- Any expenses related to buying equipment or tools specifically required for your work, such as hand-held weights or a yoga mat
- Any meals you buy and eat when you work overtime, but only if you get an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or enterprise agreement and it's included in your assessable income
- Self education costs for attending any courses, training or seminars specifically related to your current line of work (such as a workshop in advanced pilates techniques when you're a pilates instructor)
- 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
- The cost of buying or subscribing to any journals or magazines specifically related to your job
- Phone and internet expenses for any work-related usage on your personal phone or device, provided they are not already covered by your employer
- Working from home office or studio expenses such as heating or cooling, and repairs to equipment
- Travel expenses such as accommodation and meals if you travel for work and need to stay away from home overnight (for example, if you go to work on a three-day health retreat) and pay these expenses yourself
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 plain tracksuit pants, running shs or a white t-shirt) even if you only wear it for work and bought it specifically to wear to work
- Childcare costs incurred while you're working
- Any education or training designed to help you move into a new and different career (for example, if you're a personal trainer and undertaking a yoga teacher training course to shift into a new career as a yoga instructor)
- 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, including parking fees and tolls, even if you live a long distance away
What records do I need to keep?
A healthy set of 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?
It's okay, we know this can happen to anyone and strongly recommend dealing with it as soon as possible. This 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-lodge 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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