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Tim Tams, dog food, edible underwear, toilet paper – the bizarre tax deductions Aussies are trying to claim

By on June 4, 2022 0

If you think Tim Tams, ciggies and toilet paper are legitimate work-related deductions on your tax return, be warned: the Australian Taxation Office is ready for you.

The ATO will begin reviewing claims with returns filed from July 7 and expects to begin paying refunds from July 16.

Australians have a long history of claiming dubious deductions at tax time and the ATO is likely to dust off its index of illegal and downright bizarre claims.

The ATO will begin reviewing claims with returns filed from July 7 and expects to begin paying refunds from July 16. But he warned he was on the lookout for questionable claims for work-related expenses. Gym membership is one such claim

Australian taxpayer claimed dog food provided to his pet was a work-related expense

Australian taxpayer claimed dog food provided to his pet was a work-related expense

Some of the weirdest claims Aussies have tried to claw back at ATO money include dog food, dental care, gambling losses, toilet paper, cigarettes, vapes and vacations that don’t. were not only unrelated to the work, but were entirely faked.

In 2020, a New South Wales man was fined $1,500 and given a criminal conviction for falsely claiming a fake vacation.

“The bank manager claimed over $15,000 in travel expenses for ‘overseas conferences’ even though he had not left the country during the fiscal year,” the ATO explained. .

Another taxpayer claimed a fantastic holiday that never even happened, saying it was for a convention

Another taxpayer claimed a fantastic holiday that never even happened, saying it was for a convention

Even if you need them, they are not and never will be tax deductible as a work-related expense.

Even if you need them, they are not and never will be tax deductible as a work-related expense.

Even though the rules are clear – a deduction must be linked to earning income and we need proof that the amount has been spent – Australians can’t seem to resist taking a chance on taxes.

“As clear as they are, people are trying to circumvent these rules,” a statement from ITP Accounting Professionals said.

“Many questionable claims are made in the ‘other’ expense column, including ineligible items such as wedding reception costs, dental, childcare, gambling losses, alcohol and even the cigarettes.”

ATO Deputy Commissioner Tim Loh ([photo]said toilet paper, tea, coffee and Tim Tams are examples of personal expenses that are not income-related but have been previously claimed.[pictured)saidtoiletpaperteacoffeeandTimTamsareexamplesofpersonalexpensesthatarenotrelatedtoearninganincomebuthavebeenclaimedbefore

Le commissaire adjoint de l’ATO, Tim Loh ([photo]said toilet paper, tea, coffee and Tim Tams are examples of personal expenses that are not income-related but have been previously claimed.[pictured)saidtoiletpaperteacoffeeandTimTamsareexamplesofpersonalexpensesthatarenotrelatedtoearninganincomebuthavebeenclaimedbefore[pictured)saidtoiletpaperteacoffeeandTimTamsareexamplesofpersonalexpensesthatarenotrelatedtoearninganincomebuthavebeenclaimedbefore

Coffee can help jump-start the workday, but it's not a work-related expense

Coffee can help jump-start the workday, but it’s not a work-related expense

ATO Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh said toilet paper, tea, coffee and Tim Tams are examples of personal expenses that are unrelated to earning income but have already been claimed.

He added that people should avoid “copying and pasting” deductions from previous years.

What was valid for one year may not be true for the last 12 months – because, for example, your employer may have reimbursed you.

Australians have a long history of claiming dubious deductions at tax time and the ATO is likely to dust off its index of illegal and downright bizarre claims.  Tim Tams is one of those weird claims

Australians have a long history of claiming dubious deductions at tax time and the ATO is likely to dust off its index of illegal and downright bizarre claims. Tim Tams is one of those weird claims

People are trying to make work-related claims that are real “doozies”, according to Australian chartered accountants and New Zealand tax chief Michael Croker.

Dog food, claimed as a ‘security cost’, was an example, he said news.com.au.

“While feeding a guard dog may be deductible in some cases, your pet doesn’t quite make the cut,” Croker said.

Most of the time, people’s claims are the result of misunderstanding the law.

For example, it’s a common misconception that self-improvement is tax deductible because it often seems to help with employment.

This means that your gym membership, yoga class, meditation app, and teeth whitener are not tax deductible.

Taxpayers have even attempted to report cigarettes as a work-related expense

Taxpayers have even attempted to report cigarettes as a work-related expense

An often overlooked and often legitimate type of deduction is education.

New data has revealed that at least 30% of Australians spend up to $1,936 on work-related learning each year, a tax-deductible cost.

Counting the remaining 70% of Australians who don’t spend any of their money on personal education, the average spent each year is around $587.

The average return for Australians is $2,600 according to the taxback.com blog.

The deadline for filing your income tax return for the tax year July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 is October 31, 2022.

Most people won’t get their annual Pay As You Go payment summary from their employer until July 14.

The ATO said in 2022 that it aims to finalize returns within 12 days of receipt.

The deductions Aussies CAN make…and what we’ve tried to claim

There are three golden rules established by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for determining legitimate deductions as work-related expenses:

  • The expense must be directly related to earning your income.
  • You must have already incurred the expense
  • You must have the records to prove it

Source: ITP Accounting Professionals

Items Australians have tried (and failed) to claim include:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate cookies
  • Cigarettes and vapers
  • Coffee
  • dental work
  • Dog food
  • Gambling losses
  • Gym memberships
  • Holidays
  • Meditation and yoga apps and sessions
  • Self-Improvement Programs and Apps
  • Streaming services, that is. Netflix, Disney and Stan
  • Solar cream
  • Tea
  • Toilet paper
  • teeth whitener