It’s that time of year again when you have to start thinking about your taxes and what deductions you can take as a teacher. Teachers do an incredible job educating our children day in and day out, but when it comes to their own taxes, they often need a little help.
Just like other professionals, if you are in the teaching profession, you may be forced to spend your own money to pay for work-related expenses. Sadly, due to lack of the right information, such deductions end up being omitted from the tax returns.
This checklist will ensure that you take advantage of all the deductions available to you as a teacher so that you can keep more of your hard-earned money.
Salaries, Wages and Allowances
Your salary, wages and allowances are the main elements of your income for any financial year. The ATO expects you to declare all of your salary and wages, no matter how small the amount is. If you have allowances deducted from your salary, such as rent allowance or vehicle allowance, you should also declare these on your tax return.
Any form of income that is included in your income statement or payment summary should be declared on your tax return.
Deductions for Teaching Professionals
Deductions for union fees, professional membership fees and salary packaging arrangements are also available to teachers. Be sure to check with your employer or accountant to see if you are eligible for any of these deductions.
There is a wide range of work-related expenses that teachers can claim as deductions, including:
- Education expenses: You can claim a deduction for the cost of attending conferences, seminars, and workshops that are relevant to your teaching profession. You can also claim the cost of textbooks, journals, and other reference materials.
- Teaching Materials: You can claim a deduction for the cost of materials that you use in your teaching, such as whiteboards, markers and other stationery.
- Travel Expenses: You can claim a deduction for the cost of travel to and from work, as well as any overnight travel expenses incurred while working away from home.
- Computer and Telephone Expenses: If you use your own computer or telephone for work purposes, you can claim a deduction for the cost of these items.
- Vehicle Expenses: If you use your own vehicle for work purposes, you can claim a deduction for the cost of running and maintaining your vehicle.
- Clothing expenses: You can claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing and maintaining a uniform that is required for your job.
- Home-based Expenses: If you work from home, you may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of running your home office, such as electricity and depreciation on office equipment.
What Deductions You Can’t Claim
It is important to note that there are certain expenses that you cannot claim as deductions, even if they are related to your job. These include:
- The cost of travel to and from your place of employment (e.g. the cost of commuting to work)
- The cost of meals and accommodation while on business trips (unless you are required to stay away from home overnight)
- Personal phone calls
- Clothing that is not a uniform (e.g. suits and other business attire)
- The cost of entertaining clients or customers
- Gifts and donations
Declaring Deductions on Your Tax Return
When it comes to declaring deductions on your tax return, it’s important to keep accurate records of all your expenses. Be sure to keep receipts for all of your purchases, as well as records of any travel expenses incurred.
This checklist is designed to help you take advantage of all the deductions available to you as a teacher. Be sure to keep accurate records and receipts for all of your expenses.
At Accurate Business & Accounting Services, our tax specialists are always ready to assist you with your tax return and deductions.