What tax deductions can teachers claim on tax?
Like many professionals, teachers often pay for work-related expenses out of their own pockets. In most cases, these expenses turn into valuable tax deductions for teachers come tax time. For a teacher, tax deductions can significantly improve your tax refund – if you know what you’re doing.
So, to make sure you get back as much as possible in your tax refund this year, you need to know which expenses to claim AND adopt a few good habits.
Let’s start with the top 14 teacher tax deductions:
The top 14 teacher tax deductions:
Here are some expenses that you may be able to claim:
- Teaching supplies: teaching resources or materials that were not paid for or reimbursed by your school
- Teaching registration fees and related costs
- Working with children/Blue card applications
- Uniforms (or clothing with the company/school logo on it) including laundry costs
- Self-education that relates to your current teaching role
- Some travel and meal expenses
- Any relevant overnight stay costs
- Relevant car expenses
- Union or membership fees
- Home internet bill (for the times you may work from home on marking, etc.)
- Cost of relevant memberships
- Work-related books, magazines and journals
- Tax-deductible phone expenses
- Protective hat and sunscreen used when working outside
Claim tax deductions for working at home
Most teachers need to take work home at some stage but there is a silver lining to that. If, like many teachers, you do some of your work from home, there’s an opportunity to claim a deduction for it. Depending on how often you work at home, you may be able to claim your work from home expenses.
From 2023, there are two ways to claim home office expenses:
- Actual cost method: The amount of actual running expenses incurred by recording an established pattern of use.
- Or Revised Fixed Rate Method: Calculated at a rate of 67 cents per hour.
Travel and school excursions: common tax deductions for teachers
Travel and other costs for day trips or school excursions are often a common expense for teachers. So, make sure you keep a record of all of them. This includes costs such as meals, transport and accommodation – unless paid for or reimbursed by the school. It’s worth noting that you can’t claim travel to and from work or any social functions the school may host.
Other teacher tax deductions
You may also be able to claim a deduction for some personal items if you use them for work. For example, a portion of your printer costs and the costs of work-related personal car use.
Track teaching expenses + save your receipts = more tax deductions for teachers!
Stay on top of your record keeping, year-round. Keep it simple and keep your records organised. If you don’t keep your receipts, it is likely that items that you could have claimed as teacher tax deductions will be missed. And if you don’t have a receipt to prove a teaching-related expense, don’t claim the expense. That might sound a bit harsh, but the solution is easy: Put all of your work-related receipts in a folder for your tax agent at the end of the financial year.
Download Top Tax Tips Checklist for Teachers
To help jog your memory and collect all the right documents and details for tax time, we’ve created a helpful tax checklist and top tax tips infographic for teachers.
Need more advice? We have a team ready to answer your questions and get your tax return lodged the right way, so just get in touch!