Mining Site Employee Tax Return and Deduction Checklist
It's amazing how many people literally throw money away at tax time. When you work hard all year on a mining site, doing your taxes might feel like the last thing you want to do each Tax Time. But if you don't put in a little bit of effort, you could be missing some important deductions that are relevant to your job.
Where should you begin? Always start with expert help. The best way to get the maximum possible refund is to get expert advice from someone who knows all the possible deductions for someone who works in mining. Our expert tax consultants at H&R Block live and breathe the Aussie tax system every day – so we know exactly how to help you get the best results.
To complete your return, you'll 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. 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.
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 your job. 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 mining site employee, such as:
- The cost of buying, repairing and cleaning any clothing items (including footwear) that are protective (such as steel capped boots or heavy duty overalls) or are officially a uniform and have distinctive features such as your employer's logo on them
- Self education costs for attending any courses, training or seminars specifically related to your current line of work (such as first aid certification or renewal, or undertaking a mining cadetship)
- Any expenses related to buying equipment or tools specifically required for your work, such as a drill, spanner set or welding equipment (but you have to apportion the cost of these tools if you also use them at home for any DIY activities)
- Car expenses if you have to drive between jobs during your work day or if you have to transport heavy or bulky equipment to your workplace because secure storage facilities are not available at your workplace
- The cost of purchasing any protective items for your personal use during work such as gloves, safety glasses, goggles, breathing masks, sunscreen, a sunhat or sunglasses
- Any renewal fees for licences, regulatory permits, certificates, or 'cards' that relate to your work (but not the initial cost of getting any licences or certificates, even if getting them is a condition of your employment)
- Phone and internet expenses for any work-related usage on your personal phone or device, provided they are not already covered by your employer
- The cost of buying any industry journals, periodicals or magazines that are specifically connected to your job as a mining site employee
- Travel expenses such as accommodation and meals if you travel for work and need to stay away from home overnight (for example, if you visit a new mining site for a couple of days) and pay these expenses yourself
What can't I claim?
There are several key expenses you can't claim, including:
- 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
- Everyday clothing of any kind, such as jeans, shorts, running shs or plain t-shirts, that can be worn outside of your workplace, even if you only ever wear these items when you're at work
- Any tools or equipment provided to you by your employer
- The cost of renewing your driver's licence, even if having it is a condition of your employment
What records do I need to keep?
Records are really important at tax time, and 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've self lodged 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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