on 14/05/2013 1:48 am / no comments
A common question asked of any tax agent is what tax deductions can I claim? The simple answer is you can claim a tax deduction for any money you spend on earning your income. The reality is it is a bit more complicated than that, and if the taxman asks, you must be able to produce the documents to prove that you spent the money and how that expense relates to earning your income.
This article will look at some of the more common items you may be able to claim a tax deduction for. If you travel regularly for work, as all FIFO workers do, then you would be able to claim a deduction for the cost of your luggage, including travel bags, overnight bags, suit packs suitcases and luggage trolleys. If the cost of an individual item, or a set of luggage, is more than $300 then you would only be able to claim a deduction for the depreciation of the luggage, not the entire purchase price.
If you are based in Australia but work overseas, the cost of your passport, visa, vaccinations etc would be deductible to the extent they relate to your work.
If you require a medical examination, drug or alcohol test or police clearance certificate for your work, the cost of obtaining these would be
If you work outside, or drive a vehicle outside, you would be entitled to claim a deduction for sunglasses, sunscreen and hats. If a particular item cost more than $300 you would only be able to claim a deduction for the depreciation of that item.
If you require a licence to operate a particular type of machinery (not a drivers licence) then the cost of renewing that licence (not the cost of obtaining the original licence) would be deductible.
A contentious issue is whether or not the cost of travelling from home to the airport and back again is deductible. It is a well established doctrine that travel between home and a place of employment is not deductible. An exception to this rule is if you are transporting heavy or bulky equipment. The bad news for fly in fly out workers is that the courts have ruled in the past that transporting your luggage is not considered to be transporting bulky equipment and hence the travel to and from the airport would not be deductible.
The above is a brief outline of some of the more common deductions available to fly in fly out workers which we have extracted from tax office rulings. Whether or not any of the above applies to you would depend upon your particular circumstances and are best discussed with your tax agent.