Reposted from original article found on

Tax time is here and everyone is wanting to maximise their tax returns. To help out the local Adelaide Hills residents, Mount Barker based accountant David Venables from Venables Accountants has provided some of the key areas that you should be looking at to ensure you’re getting the best use of your returns.

Claim Work Related Deductions

When you are an employee who regularly works from home and part of your home has been set aside primarily or solely for the purpose of work, a home office deduction may be allowable. Typical home office costs include heating, cooling, lighting and office equipment depreciation.

To claim the deduction, you must have kept a diary of the hours you worked at home for at least four weeks.

Claim Expenses Related to Work

Claiming all work-related deduction entitlements may save considerable income tax. Typical work-related expenses include employment-related mobile phone, internet usage, computer equipment, union fees and professional subscriptions that the employee paid themselves and for which they were not reimbursed.

Claim Any Tax Deductible Donations

The ATO will pre-fill your tax return with the gifts and donations information they have received – however the systems won’t always have all the data imported. Make sure to add in any donations not included where the receipt shows your donation is tax deductible.

If you made donations to an approved organisation through workplace-giving, you still need to record the total amount of your donations at this item.

Your payment summary, or other written statement from your employer showing the donated amount, is sufficient evidence to support your claim. You do not need to have a receipt.

Report Any Income From Any Side Businesses Including the Gig Economy

If you drive for Uber, run a handyman business on the side, rent out your property, run a social media business or sell products, your income from such activity may be assessable and your expenses deductible. It’s important to be fully upfront about this information as the ATO is receiving data from a range of websites including AirTasker, AirBnB, Uber and eBay which is matched against tax returns. Make sure you keep records and report correctly.

Motor Vehicle Deductions

If you use your motor vehicle for work-related travel, there are two choices of how you can claim.

If the annual travel claim does not exceed 5000 kilometres, you can claim a deduction for your vehicle expenses on the cents-per-kilometre basis. This figure includes all your vehicle running expenses, including depreciation.

The allowable rate for such claims changes annually; this year’s rate can be obtained from the ATO or your registered tax agent.

You do not need written evidence to show how many kilometres you have travelled, but the ATO and therefore your tax agent may ask you to show how you worked out your business kilometres.

Are you looking for an accountant in the Adelaide Hills? Venables Accountants helps individuals and businesses with their taxation and accounting needs.