Do you spend your days caring for or supervising our future generations?
Whether you’re a childcare worker, childcare assistant, nanny, kindergarten assistant or pre-school aide, you’re entitled to some attractive tax deductions that you may be unaware of, until now.
Use our early childhood educator and childcare worker tax deductions guide below to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tax return this year!
What can childcare workers claim on tax?
Uniform and clothing expenses for Childcare Workers
Firstly, if you are required to wear any branded clothing to work, the purchase costs are tax deductible. This includes shirts, hats, pants or skirts. The general rule is if it’s company specific and not available to the general public, then it is tax deductible.
On the other hand, items that are available to the general public like plain black pants or a black skirt cannot be claimed, even if they’re required as part of your uniform by your employer.
You can also claim the laundry and cleaning costs of the clothes with your company logo on them. Just keep track of how many washes you do per week and whether you washed these items in a separate wash or with other clothing. The Etax return will do the maths for you, to ensure you get the maximum claim.
If you do art activities, cooking or running around outside with little (or big) ones, you may also purchase items such as:
- Sun protection (hats, sunscreen, sunglasses)
- Protective footwear
If these items are on your shopping list each year, make sure you include them on your tax return.
Important: You can only claim items that you’ve paid for yourself. If your employer provides any of the above items or reimburses you for purchases you make, you can’t include those on your tax return.
Training and self-education expenses for Childcare Workers
Training is a common expense for childcare workers. It’s a job which often requires further upskilling and training, to ensure you meet all necessary industry requirements.
As long as the course relates directly to your current job, the fees and related expenses are usually tax deductible. Take a look at the list of common deductions below:
- In-service / professional development courses
- Textbooks or manuals required for training
- Equipment and materials required
- Blue card renewals (not the initial application)
- Travel expenses including flights, transport, meals and accommodation (if required to stay overnight).
To find out more, read our self-education expenses deduction guide.
If you are ever required to pick up supplies, attend meetings at other sites, go on excursions, sporting events or training courses, the cost of using your car is usually tax deductible. (Just keep in mind that you cannot claim travel from home to work and back).
For most childcare workers, travel is incidental, so the cents per kilometre rate works best. Just be sure to keep track of the kilometres you travel, as you can claim up to 5,000km per year. However, if you’re someone who drives a lot more as part of your job, the logbook method may be more beneficial to you.
The cents per km rate for 2023-24 is 85 cents. For 2022-23, the rate is 78 cents.
Have a look at our car expenses deductions guide for the different ways you can claim and decide which method works best for you. At tax time, our team of friendly accountants can help you work out which method gets you the biggest refund.
Childcare equipment and materials
Childcare workers often supply items for the children in their care that are not paid for by their employer. Below are some common examples of out of pocket expenses to include, when adding your childcare worker deductions to your tax return:
- Teaching aids
- Art and craft materials
- Musical instruments
- Food and toiletries
Just make sure you are keeping track of your receipts as you go and that you aren’t reimbursed for the purchases.
Mobile phone expenses
It’s not unusual for childcare workers to use their personal phone to contact other staff members and parents, or write and respond to emails etc.
If you make (or receive) calls for work on your personal phone, it’s likely you can claim a portion of your monthly bill as a tax deduction. Just go through one of your monthly bills and work out what percentage of your calls are work-related. You can claim that portion of your bill as a deduction on your return.
Julie is a kindergarten supervisor and often uses her personal mobile phone to call staff to cover shifts as well as call suppliers. As a result, these costs are tax deductible. She chose a monthly phone bill that was an accurate representation of a ‘typical’ month.
She made 24 calls in total and 12 were work-related. That equals 50% of Julie’s total phone bill. Therefore, as Julie pays $49 per month, she can now claim half of that back on her tax return.
$49 x 50%= $24.50
$24.50 x 11 months (1 month of annual leave) = $269.50 that Julie can claim on her yearly tax return!
Other tax deductions for childcare workers:
- Association or union membership fees
- Work-related books or library additions
- Work-related internet (you can claim the percentage of your bill that applies to work related use)
- Organising and attending excursions, day trips or events
- Donations to registered charities (does not apply if you received something in return eg. Raffle tickets)
- Previous year’s tax agent fees – therefore, whatever you spent on your tax return last year is tax deductible