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  • Tax Time Toolkit – government

    Tax Time Toolkit for government workers contains practical and tailored information to help public servants understand what they can and can’t claim in their tax return.

    You can download a copy in portable document format, see Tax Time Toolkit – Government workers (PDF, 1.0MB)This link will download a file.

    We encourage you to share this information with your staff, clients, members and networks.

    You’ll find tips and guides as well as ‘ready to use’ messages you can adapt for your own communication channels.

    In this guide:

    Occupation guides

    Helpful occupation guides and information for tax time:

    Common claims

    Common deductions those in government claim:

    Ready-to-use Tax Time messages

    Below are a range of messages you can use (or adapt) for your own communication channels, such as websites, intranets, newsletters and social media platforms.

    Example: Article suggestion

    Headline: Getting it right this tax time

    The ATO will be focusing on work-related expenses this tax time to help taxpayers get their returns right. When you want to find out what public servants can and can’t claim at tax time, it’s best to hear it from the source itself – the Australian Taxation Office.

    There are three golden rules for claiming a work-related deduction:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must directly relate to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.

    Before lodging your tax return, it’s important to know what you’re eligible to claim and make sure you don’t claim more than you’re entitled to.

    Exceptions to the record keeping rules are there to make things simpler – they do not allow you to claim an automatic deduction. For example, some taxpayers think they can make a standard claim of $300 without having spent the money. While you don’t need receipts for claims up to $300, you must have spent the money yourself, and be able to show how you worked out your deduction if asked.

    Other common mistakes include claiming self-education expenses when the study doesn’t have a direct connection to current employment and private use of phone or internet expenses. Remember – you can only claim for the work-related portion!

    Getting prepared for next year

    If you spend time trying to find your receipts, or if these receipts are now faded and unreadable, the ATO app’s myDeductions tool will help you get prepared for next tax time. myDeductions makes it easier and more convenient to keep your expense records in one place.

    You can record expenses and deductions, vehicle trips and take photos of your invoices and receipts. Come tax time you can email your data to your tax agent or upload your data to prefill your tax return. Simply:

    • download the ATO app to your smart device
    • select the myDeductions icon
    • step through and choose whether you’d like to use the tool as an individual (generally or as an employee), as a sole trader (business) or both.

    For more information on what government workers can and can’t claim, check out this handy ATO guide at ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21.

    End of example

    Suggested social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles

    Example: social media

    Tax tip: If you work from home, you may be able to claim a portion of your home office expenses on your tax return! This could include deductions for:

    • office equipment
    • work-related phone calls
    • internet access charges
    • lighting, heating and cooling
    • furniture repairs
    • cleaning

    Check what records you need and how to calculate your claim at ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Attention public servants: Check out the ATO’s latest summary for a quick guide to what you can and can’t claim. Visit ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Public servants! Get on top of your tax return this year. Visit ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21 for information on what you can and can’t claim.

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Did you know the ATO has occupation specific guides that make it simple for you to understand what you can and can’t claim at tax time? Visit ato.gov.au/occupation21

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Working in an office? Make sure you understand what work related deductions you can claim this tax time. Check out the ATO’s occupation specific guides at ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21 and remember the three golden rules for claiming a deduction:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
    • it must directly relate to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it.
    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Re-adjusting to the office lifestyle after working from home this year? Make sure you know what deductions you can claim with the ATO’s handy work-related expenses guides. Visit ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21.

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Whether you’re working from an office or your dining table, the ATO’s tailored office workers guide can make tax time easy. Check it out at ato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21.

    End of example

     

    Example: social media

    Work in the public service? While we can’t help you with that co-worker who keeps microwaving fish, we can help you figure out the deductions you can claim this tax time! Check out the ATO’s latest summary of what you can and can’t claim at tax time. Visit aato.gov.au/OfficeWorkers21.

    End of example

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      Last modified: 29 Mar 2021QC 59354