Australians have been urged to play by the rules this tax season as some of the strangest items people have claimed as deductions are revealed.
A $145,000 luxury car, a trip to Italy, Botox, teeth whitening and breast implants are just some of the weird items Aussies have tried to claim as work-related expenses.
Tim Loh, the assistant commissioner at the Australian Revenue Service, said items that can be claimed as work-related expenses are different for each profession.
He revealed that an accountant who was starting a new career as an opera singer had tried to claim $20,000 towards the cost of several expensive opera dresses and a trip to Italy.
Sex workers are allowed to claim ‘tools of the trade’ such as sex toys, handcuffs and uniforms as work-related expenses (stock image)
Adrian Raftery, the founder of Mr Taxman, said he had seen people trying to reclaim tax on beauty treatments such as teeth whitening and botox (stock image)
In another bizarre case, an administrative assistant tried to tax six different vehicles despite only owning one car, the Daily telegram reports.
Mr Taxman’s founder Adrian Raftery said people cited beauty treatments such as teeth whitening and botox as work-related expenses.
An Aussie filed a questionable deduction for breast augmentation, which can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.
One of the more bizarre conclusions was a Cavoodle, listed by its owner as a home business watchdog, Mr Raferty revealed.
Some of the weirder claims Aussies have tried to get money back from the ATO in the past include dog food, dental work, gambling losses, toilet paper, cigarettes, vaping and holidays that not only had nothing to do with work, they were completely counterfeit.
The ATO clearly states that a deduction must be related to earning an income.
Work-related expenses can only be claimed if a person has spent the money, has not been repaid, and has a receipt to prove the transaction.
Sex workers can claim deductions such as costumes, toys and handcuffs, while circus performers can claim tax back on their costumes and ‘tools of the trade’.
Ahead of the 2022 tax season, Mr Loh urged Aussies to be vigilant in checking their deductions and avoid ‘copying and pasting’ from the previous year.
In 2020, a NSW bank manager was fined $1,500 and a criminal conviction for falsely claiming a fake holiday.
He claimed more than $15,000 in travel expenses for “overseas conferences” even though he hadn’t left the country that financial year, the ATO revealed.
One of the more bizarre “work related” expenses was a Cavoodle described by its owner as the watchdog of the family business (stock image)
Circus performers can reclaim tax on their costumes and tools of the trade (stock image)
It is a common misconception that personal self-improvement is tax-deductible, as it often appears to help you get a job.
That means that a gym subscription, yoga class and meditation app are not deductible.
One form of deduction that is often overlooked and often legitimate is education.
New data has revealed that at least 30 per cent of Australians spend up to $1,936 each year on work-related learning, a tax-deductible expense.
Taking into account the other 70 percent of Aussies who spend none of their money on personal education, the average spent each year is about $587.
The average return for Australians is $2,600 according to blog taxback.com.
The deductions Aussies CAN make… and what we have tried to claim
There are three golden rules established by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to determine legitimate deductions as work-related expenses:
- The expense must be directly related to earning your income.
- You must have already incurred the costs
- You must have the data to prove it
Source: ITP Accounting Professionals
Items Aussies have tried (and failed) to claim include:
- Chocolate cookies
- Cigarettes and vaping
- Dental work
- Dog food
- Losing gambling
- Gym memberships
- Meditation and yoga apps and sessions
- Self-improvement programs and apps
- Streaming services ie. Netflix, Disney and Stan
- toilet paper
- Teeth whitening
- Breast Implants