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Tax deductions that are often forgotten

A quick scan of the average taxpayer’s wallet of receipts or documents in the home office can result in quite a few expenses they can claim as tax deductions. However, some of the most obvious get forgotten on a regular basis.

While not all available tax deductions will apply for every individual (since claimable items vary based on the work they do and other personal circumstances), there are some frequently-used items professionals say people often overlook.

iPhones and iPads
Those who use their iPhone or iPad for work and have to pay for it may be able to claim a tax deduction for work-related data usage or calls. If their employer pays for their phone calls but they have purchased a cover for the phone or iPad to protect it, they may be able to claim that.

Electricity, internet and rent
Those who have a small business can claim a portion of their electricity bill, internet bill and even rent. Individuals can also claim depreciation on new computers, phones and printers up to the value of $300.  However, these tax deductions do not apply to people who work from home one day a week.

Driving expenses
Those who drive to see clients as part of their job can save on tax in that area. The two methods used to claim a deduction are cents per kilometre, where individuals can claim 66 cents per kilometre travelled, or through a log book. Individuals must keep receipts for petrol, insurance, registration, servicing and lease costs for the whole year.

Self-education courses
Those who have done a self-education course in the past year to improve their job skills can claim a tax deduction. However, if the reason a person does the course is because they’re sick of their current job and want to get a new one, they cannot claim a deduction.

Charity
Those who keep their receipts from donating to a registered charity can claim it as a tax deduction.

Posted on 24 May '16 by , under Tax.

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The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
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Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

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  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
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  • Details of your previous fund.

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