5 tips for mining industry workers at tax time

Broken open piggy bank

Here are 5 top tax tips to help you get the most out of your tax return this year.

No matter what your job in the mining industry — whether you’re a driller  in the Kimberley or a chief executive on  the Terrace in Perth — there’s one fact you can’t escape: It’s tax time!

Here are five top tax tips from accountant John Budrovich, director of West Perth-based accountancy firm Aspect Accounting, to help you get the most out of your tax this year.

Get your tax deductions right

While it’s common for mining companies to provide your PPE and work clothes, you are able to make a tax deduction on any items you have to provide yourself — boots, for example. As long as you have the receipts for these items, you’re able to make a claim for them on your tax return.

If you’re working in an office and you’ve got a company logo on your shirt, you can claim laundry deductions. That’s limited to $150 per person, without receipts.

You can also claim back the costs of any work-related education you’ve been doing, as long as you’re paying for it yourself and not your employer.

If you work from home, sometimes you can also claim a proportion of your home for work use on your tax.

Remember, if your total deductions are under $300, you don’t need receipts.

Save a few dollars with this clever trick

If you earn more than $180,000 a year and you’ve got time to talk to your company’s payroll department before July 1, you can take advantage of the expiry of the Federal Government’s Temporary Budget Repair Levy.

The levy ends this financial year so if you can defer wages or bonuses into the 2017/18 tax year, then you can save two per cent.

Don’t try to save a few dollars with this silly trick

Don’t forget to include your bank interest or any dividends on your tax return. Also, be sure to note correctly whether you have private health insurance. These are easy things to miss (or to deliberately leave off, hoping to save a few dollars) but the Australian Tax Office receives this information direct from banks and insurers. So, if you misreport that information so you’ll find an Amended Notice of Assessment landing in your letterbox — complete with penalties.

It’s an easy spot to find yourself in trouble if you’re doing your tax yourself using the Tax Pack.

Don’t believe everything you hear

People have misconceptions about what you’re allowed to claim. You can’t claim parking at the airport or travel to the airport, for example — no matter what your mates tell you. It’s really important to get your deductions right, or you’ll end up with an Amended Notice.

Get an accountant to get your best possible return

If you really want to make sure you get your tax right (or even if you just want to take the stress out of the situation) have an accountant prepare your tax return for you.

Tax accountants prepare returns all the time, which means they know how to get them right. Generally, they can also increase the amount of your return. So it makes sense to use an accountant because you can maximise your tax income in a legitimate way, without risking getting something wrong and risking an Amended Notice down the track.

Whether you’re out on site or up in an office tower, if you’re looking for a new role in the mining industry this financial year, get in contact with the team at Mining People International.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International