Five things you didn't know you could claim on tax


Who said tax time is boring? Here are five perfectly legitimate, and slightly wacky, deductions.

Laundering workwear

If you are required to wear a compulsory uniform or protective clothing at work, you can claim the costs to launder, dryclean or repair the clothing.

five things you didn't know you could claim on tax

The ATO says a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is $1 per load if it only contains work clothing, or 50 cents per load if you mix personal items with workwear.

COVID tests

You can claim a deduction for the cost of a COVID test if it is used to determine whether you can attend work.

A dog

In very limited circumstances, you might be able to claim a deduction for the cost of buying and caring for a dog.

Mark Chapman, director of tax communications for H&R Block, says the two most common scenarios where the cost of a dog is tax deductible are farming and security, where a guard dog patrols business premises.


It may be possible to claim your caravan as a tax deduction.

"One taxpayer who travelled extensively for work decided to buy a caravan for overnight accommodation while working away, rather than paying for a hotel room every night," says Chapman.

"That was deductible. But if you are in the same situation and also use the caravan for holidays, you'll need to apportion the deduction between work use and 
private use."

Garden gnomes  

Chapman says that rental property owners may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of improving their property's 'street appeal'.

He says that some landlords have successfully claimed the cost of garden gnomes this way.

Three apps to make your tax return easier

Maximising tax refunds becomes a national sport at this time of year, but it doesn't have to mean poring over paperwork while burning the midnight oil.

The ATO accepts records in either paper or electronic format, including photos of written evidence.

This has paved the way for tax apps to streamline tax time. Here are a few apps worth a look.

The ATO app

Cost: Free

It includes a myDeductions tool allowing users to record expenses, including by taking photos of receipts, which can be uploaded to your tax agent.

To take advantage of all the features available, you will need to link the app to your myGov account and the ATO.


Cost: Free

This app, produced by H&R Block, lets workers snap a photo of receipts. View all your receipts in one place, organised by month, and select or add a new category for each receipt.


Cost: Free, with in-app purchases

The app features a number of handy functions including a calculator that shows how much extra tax refund you could get by claiming the right deductions, a car log to record work-related trips, and the average deductions claimed in your occupation to know if you could attract unwanted ATO attention.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.