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    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    Election expenses

    Election expenses include a candidate's costs of contesting an election at a local, territory, state or federal level of government. A deduction for local government election expenses cannot exceed $1,000 for each election contested, even if the expenditure is incurred in more than one income year. Entertainment expenses only qualify as deductible election expenses in very restricted circumstances.

    For more information about deductions for election expenses, see Taxation Ruling TR 1999/10 - Income tax and fringe benefits tax: Members of Parliament - allowances, reimbursements, donations and gifts, benefits, deductions and recoupments.

    You must show as income at Other income on your tax return a reimbursement in 2017–18 of any election expenses that you have claimed as a deduction in 2017–18 or a previous year.

    Income protection, sickness and accident insurance premiums

    You can claim the cost of any premiums you paid for insurance against the loss of your income. You must include any payment you received under the policy for loss of your income at Salary, wages, allowances, tips, bonuses etc in the Payment summaries section or at Other income on your tax return.

    You cannot claim a deduction for a premium or any part of a premium which you paid under a policy to compensate you for such things as physical injury. Life insurance, trauma insurance and critical care insurance are some types of policies for which premiums are not deductible.

    You cannot claim a deduction for a premium where the policy is taken out through your superannuation fund and the premiums are deducted from your superannuation contributions.

    Foreign exchange losses

    Unless you carried on a business and have included all your foreign exchange losses (forex losses) in calculating your business net income or loss at Business income or losses, your deductible forex losses must be shown at this section (except any foreign source forex losses that you have included at Other foreign income in the Foreign income, assets and entities section). Show any assessable foreign exchange gains (forex gains) at Other income on your tax return.

    Losses attributable to a fluctuation in a currency exchange rate or to an agreed exchange rate differing from an actual exchange rate are brought to account when they are realised. This is when you:

    • dispose of either foreign currency, or a right to such currency
    • cease to have a right to receive or pay foreign currency, or
    • cease to have an obligation to pay or receive foreign currency.

    Some forex losses are not deductible, for example, forex losses of a private or domestic nature, or those relating to exempt income. In some cases, forex losses on the acquisition of capital or depreciating assets, or on the disposal of capital assets, are also not deductible. In these cases, the losses are integrated into or matched with the taxation treatment of the underlying asset.

    In some circumstances, you may make an election that affects the realisation or treatment of a forex loss. You can find more information about the forex measures and how to calculate your forex losses at Foreign exchange gains and losses.

    Debt deductions

    You may claim 'debt deductions' incurred in earning assessable income (for example, foreign source income that has been included at Other foreign income on your tax return) at this section, if you have not claimed them elsewhere on your tax return.

    A 'debt deduction' is, broadly, an expense incurred in obtaining or maintaining a loan or other form of debt finance. Examples include interest, establishment fees, legal costs for preparing loan documents and fees charged by lending institutions for drawing on a loan facility.

    If you were an Australian resident, you can claim debt deductions incurred in earning certain types of foreign non-assessable non-exempt income that were payments out of attributed controlled foreign company income or attributed foreign investment fund income.

    You are not allowed to claim debt deductions disallowed under the thin capitalisation rules. Thin capitalisation rules may apply if:

    • you were an Australian resident and you (or any associate entities) had certain overseas interests and your debt deductions combined with those of your associate entities were more than $2 million for 2017–18, or
    • you were a foreign resident with operations or investments in Australia and your debt deductions against Australian assessable income combined with those of your associate entities were more than $2 million for 2017–18.

    You can find more information at Thin capitalisation.

    Special rules apply to deductions for expenses that you incur in borrowing money that you use for producing assessable income. Examples of such expenses include establishment fees and legal costs for preparing loan documents. Interest expenses are not subject to these rules and are deductible in the year in which you incur them.

    If the total of these expenses you incurred in 2017–18 is more than $100 you have to deduct the expenses over the shorter of the following periods:

    • the life of the loan, or
    • five years from the date you first borrowed the money.

    If the total of these expenses you incurred in the 2017–18 income year is $100 or less, you can deduct them immediately.

    Section 40-880 deductions

    This section allows you to claim a deduction for certain business-related capital expenditure over five income years or immediately in case of some start-up expenses.

    Expenditure deductible over five income years

    Claim a section 40-880 deduction at this section if:

    • you incurred the relevant capital expense and  
      • the expenditure relates to a business that was proposed at the time the expense was incurred
      • the business commenced before 30 June 2018, and
      • you are carrying on the business through a company or trust, or
       
    • you incurred the relevant capital expense and the expenditure relates to a business which ceased in a previous income year and you carried on the business through a company or trust.

    If you incurred relevant section 40-880 expenses in relation to a business which ceased in a previous income year and you carried on the business as a sole trader or through a partnership, claim the amount at Business income or losses.

    Certain start-up expenses

    From 1 July 2015, section 40-880 of the ITAA 1997 allows a taxpayer who is not in business, or who is a small business entity, to immediately deduct certain start-up expenses relating to the structure or operation of a business that is proposed to be carried on.

    Expenditure is fully deductible in the income year in which it is incurred if it:

    • is incurred by you and you are a small business entity or you were not in business during the income year, and
    • relates to a business that is proposed to be carried on, and
    • is either
      • incurred for advice or services relating to the structure or operation of the business, or
      • paid to an Australian government agency in relation to setting up the business or establishing its operating structure.
       

    If you incurred relevant section 40-880 expenses that do not qualify for immediate deduction and you had not commenced the business by 30 June 2018, your deduction for this amount will be deferred until the year in which the business activity commences. The deferred amount may be deducted in the income year in which the activity commences.

    For more information about section 40-880 deductions, see Guide to depreciating assets.

    Net personal services income loss of a personal services entity that related to your personal services income

    There are special rules for the income tax treatment of certain personal services income. Personal services income is income that is mainly a reward for your personal efforts or skills and is generally paid to you or to a personal services entity (being a company, partnership or trust).

    Where the payment was made to a personal services entity and that entity incurred a personal services income loss relating to your personal services income, you can claim a deduction for that loss.

    For more information about personal services income deductions, see What to do when the PSI rules apply.

    If you need help with these rules, phone us on 13 28 66.

    Self-education expenses related to satisfying the study requirements of a taxable scholarship

    You may claim at this section expenses you incurred in meeting the study requirements of a taxable scholarship. However do not claim these expenses here if you were an employee of the provider; claim them at Work-related self-education expenses in the Deductions section.

    Examples of expenses you can claim are textbooks, stationery, student union fees, student services and amenities fees, the decline in value of your computer and certain course fees.

    You cannot claim a deduction for travel from your home to your normal place of education and back.

    Enter 'Scholarship expenses' in Your description.

      Last modified: 28 Jun 2018QC 55608