Don’t Leave Money on the Table:
Commonly Overlooked Income Tax Deductions
It doesn’t matter how scrupulous you are in your business – or how patriotic you might be – nobody likes to pay tax! And doesn’t it especially sting when you find out that you’ve paid more for something than you really had to? The little bits add up over the years and if you could legally and responsibly shave a little bit every year from your annual tax burden, just imagine what that could add up to after years of compounded interest! It’s no joke – it comes out of your heirs’ pockets, really. And isn’t that why you put yourself through all that you do as a small business person? You struggle for years to build up something that you can leave to your kids someday for their benefit. So as important as it is, you would think that every Australian taxpayer claims every legitimate deduction that he or she might be entitled to, right? Surprisingly, no! Every year people leave a great deal of money on the table by not claiming tax deductions they are entitled to. And we’re not talking about some kind of esoteric (and risky) deduction like the accelerated depreciation of an option on Nigerian mining rights. We’re talking about simple, obvious “bread & butter” things that people really should remember. Let’s take a look at a few:
Union Dues and Dues for Professional Association Membership
As a small business owner, you probably aren’t a union member. But you probably do belong to one or even several professional associations – a bar association, association of chartered accountants, society of professional engineers, the list goes on. If the purpose of the organization is professional – if it is related to your paid employment, then the membership dues you pay are deductible on your income taxes.
Cost of Tax Preparation Services
One obvious benefit of using a professional accountant to prepare your taxes is that you are extremely unlikely to forget to make claims for deductions that you are entitled to! And the second benefit – the cost of that expertise comes right off your tax bill anyway! Every fee you pay for the preparation of your taxes is deductible.
Laundry Cleaning & Repair
If you have clothing specific to your employment – if it is a uniform, protective gear (like a hard hat or steel-toed boots) or if it is in any other way “occupation specific,” then you can deduct all sums you spend to wash, dry, iron and repair the clothing.
If you run a landscape service, if you’re a farmer, if you do any kind of work that requires you to spend most of your working hours out of doors, then you can deduct expenditures on sunglasses and other forms of sun protection.
Professional Education Fees
In order to stay competitive in your small business, you need to keep on top of your game with constantly updated education. This is particularly true for those who are engaged in professional services: lawyers, architects, engineers, doctors. All expenses related to your continuing professional education are deductible: course fees, books, certain travel expenses, and subscriptions to professional and trade journals.
We think you’ll agree that most of these things are pretty obvious and not at all novel or unusual. But still people forget them just because of the press of their own daily lives. Having professional assistance helps you maximize the tax return you can get. Call us today and let’s talk about minimizing your taxes!