Filing an online tax return can be a daunting process. There are so many things to consider. It’s likely that there will be a whole folder full of receipts and details that are ready to be used as deductions.
While there are many deductions that the majority of people know they can claim, there are also quite a few that most people don’t realize they could be using. With this in mind, here are 5 tax deductions people don’t know about when filing a tax return.
1. Uniforms and Work Clothes
If someone is expected to keep their uniform and work clothing clean and presentable, they’re allowed to claim the money they spend on doing so. The allowance for a laundry deduction is $1 for every load, and even dry cleaning costs can be covered.
This means it’s important to keep track of how often laundry is done. If the total cost is under $300 per fiscal year, receipts aren’t required. However, anything above $300 will need receipts as evidence if the goal is to claim it back as a deduction.
2. Charity Donations
If you’ve spent over the minimum amount and been given a tax invoice, you can claim charity donations as one of your tax deductions. This means everyone wins! Not only do you get to contribute to a good cause, but it’s healthy for your tax bill too. Any partnerships with nonprofits or involvement with local charity events may be deductible too. So, be sure to keep track of evidence and talk to your accountant about claiming charitable donations as a deduction.
Yes, you read that right. Under certain circumstances, you can use the amount you spend on sunscreen as one of your tax deductions.
If work takes you outside, you can deduct sunscreen costs from your tax return. However, this deduction doesn’t apply to everyone. Even if you walk or cycle to work and use sunscreen to protect you along the way, you won’t be able to claim it unless your work itself involves being outdoors.
While office workers generally can’t claim this deduction, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the sunscreen! It is, after all, essential to good skin health.
4. Pets and Animals
Sadly, getting a new puppy to keep you company while you are working from home isn’t tax-deductible. However, if you buy an animal to help with your business – for example, a dog to help out on the farm or for added home security – you can claim the cost of its care and upkeep.
This includes vet bills, food, and anything else you may need for the animal’s wellbeing. If you needed another reason to get a puppy, there it is!
5. Learning Material, Seminars, and Courses
In the digital age, there are online courses out there for every industry and occupation. As such, if there has been money spent on webinars, training material, seminars, or online courses, and the employee can explain how it helps them improve and advance in their role, it can be deemed self-education.
This means it’s totally deductible.
Knowing What Counts as Tax Deductions Makes Tax Time Simpler
Filing your tax return doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re clear on what counts as a deduction, you can cut out a lot of wasted time. This can also help you maximize the amount of money you receive (or minimize your tax bill).
It’s important to keep the receipts and stay organized to ensure you get the best possible result. However, taxes can be tricky, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed.