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Just like that, tax time is here! It’s time to start dusting off those receipts 🧾 Here are some tips and resources from the ATO tailored for legal professionals.

If you aren’t a legal practitioner, share this page with your team and colleagues who are. There’s also some good advice for you if you incur expenses (that aren’t reimbursed by your employer) or work from home!

Let’s talk record keeping

Tax time is here so it’s time to start digging out those receipts! Or, if you used the ATO’s myDeductions tool, all you’ll need to do is whip out your device of choice.

Here are a couple of things to remember:

1. Having records of your work-related expenses is essential. If you don’t have the proof to support your claim, you can’t claim it.

2. A bank or credit card statement (on its own) is not enough evidence to support a work-related expense claim. In most cases, you’ll need a receipt.

3. Speaking of receipts, they must show all of the following:

✅ the cost
✅ the supplier
✅ the date of purchase
✅ the nature of the goods and/or services.

You may need to keep other records depending on the expense type, such as a logbook of your car journeys or records of the hours you work from home.

To give you a hand, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided a handy guide for lawyers to help you understand what you can and can’t claim this tax time.

Have further questions about your work-related expenses? Speak to a registered tax agent, or check out the ATO website for information on:

Claiming working from home expenses

If you’ve been working from home this year, you’ll probably have some work-related expenses you can claim this tax time.

There are two ways to calculate a work from home deduction:

  • the fixed rate method
  • the actual cost method.

Using the fixed rate method allows you to claim a rate of 67 cents per hour worked at home.

This amount covers all additional running expenses, such as electricity and gas, phone and internet usage, stationery, and computer consumables.

You can, however, separately claim any depreciating assets, like office furniture or technology. To help with this, try the ATO’s depreciation tool.

If you don’t use the fixed rate method – you’ll need to use the actual cost method, which means apportioning and calculating the actual costs you’ve incurred.

The most important thing is that you have the right records.

Remember:

  1. Records are essential – no proof, no deduction.
  2. Receipts matter. A bank or credit card statement (on its own) is generally not enough evidence to support a work-related expense claim; you’ll need a receipt.
  3. To be valid, make sure your receipts show the cost, supplier, date of purchase and nature of the goods and/or services.

More info at www.ato.gov.au/keepingrecords

ATO

 

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