Not many people get excited when tax season rolls around each year – except perhaps our team of experts here at H&R Block! We’re great at what we do, which is helping you to find every possible deduction so you get the best refund. If you work in the public service, then you may not realise you can legitimately claim a number of difference expenses, and our tax consultants can show you how.
Public servants are the people who keep the different levels of government running efficiently for the rest of us and they include workers in accounting, finance, information technology and logistics management. This category technically also includes professional public servants such as police officers and firefighters, but these jobs come with their own set of deductions so you should check the relevant checklists for these occupations.
Every public servant in Australia will receive an income statement or payment summary that will outline all of your salary, wages, allowances and bonuses for the financial year. This is the basis for your tax return.
You are allowed to claim deductions on any money you have spent during the financial year on products or services that are directly related to earning your income. But be warned – for the deductions to be valid, you need to have spent the money yourself (it can’t have been reimbursed by your employer) and you need to keep a legible record of the expense such as a receipt or invoice.
There is a wide range of deductions you can claim as a public servant, such as:
There are several key expenses you can’t claim, including:
Record keeping is very important when you’re claiming deductions and it’s a good idea to create an easy and reliable system to help you keep on top of this throughout the year. 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:
You also don’t need to keep receipts for expenses under $10 (as long as these don’t cumulatively come to more than $200) and for any hard to get receipts, it’s sufficient to make a note of the purchase in your diary of all the above details.
Don’t panic! Of course 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.
But we all make innocent mistakes sometimes and if you realise you’ve submitted any incorrect or unsubstantiated claims then you should contact your accountant immediately and they 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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