Maximizing Tax Refunds for Bricklayers: Understanding What You Can Claim

As a bricklayer, there are several expenses you can claim to boost your tax refund. Understanding these can significantly enhance your financial standing come tax time.

Vehicle Expenses: Navigating the Roads to Tax Deductions

For bricklayers, vehicle expenses often constitute a significant part of work-related deductions. Here’s when you can claim these costs:

  • Work-related Travel: If you’re driving between job sites or to pick up tools, these trips are claimable.
  • Multi-job Commuting: Traveling from one job directly to another? That’s deductible.
  • Bulky Tools Transport: If you need to transport large tools and can’t store them safely at work, your commute becomes deductible.

To claim these expenses, remember to keep a logbook for 12 consecutive weeks to determine the work-related percentage or track your kilometers for the cents-per-kilometre method.

Protective Gear and Maintenance Costs

The physical nature of bricklaying means protective clothing is essential. You can claim:

  • Safety Apparel: This includes hard hats, high-visibility clothing, protective boots, and safety glasses.
  • Uniforms with Logos: If your uniform has your company’s logo, both purchase and laundry costs are deductible.

Communication Tools: Staying Connected

In today’s connected world, using personal phones and internet for work is common. Bricklayers can claim:

  • Partial Phone and Internet Bills: If you’re required to use your personal devices for work purposes, a portion of these costs can be deductible. Keep a logbook for a month to determine the business-use percentage.

Other Essential Work-Related Expenditures

Bricklayers have a range of other expenses that can be claimed:

  • Tools and Equipment: Your essential toolkit, including trowels, spirit levels, hammers, and more, can be claimed if you have receipts.
  • Educational Expenditures: Courses directly related to your current job role are deductible.
  • Income Protection Insurance: A crucial safety net for many tradespeople.
  • Sun Protection: Essential items like sunglasses and sunscreen, if your job requires outdoor work.
  • Licenses and Certificates: Costs associated with professional permits, except for your driver’s license.
  • Travel and Accommodation: If your work requires you to be away from home, these expenses are claimable.

For costlier items like computers or equipment over $300, the deduction needs to be spread over several years.

Adhering to the ATO’s Guidelines

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) sets clear rules for deductions:

  • Personal Expenditure: You must have incurred the expense yourself without any reimbursement.
  • Income-Related: The expense must directly relate to your income generation.
  • Documentation: Keep records to substantiate your claims.

Understanding these guidelines can help bricklayers navigate tax season effectively, ensuring they claim all relevant deductions while remaining compliant with ATO regulations.

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