Tax Time for Miners: Get the Money You Deserve

Tax time can feel like a chore, especially after a long year working hard on the mine site. But there's good news! By claiming the deductions you deserve, you could be getting a bigger tax refund.

Getting Started

For the best results, consider talking to a tax professional. Tax consultants are well-versed in the Australian tax system and can help you maximize your deductions.

To get started, you'll need your income statement from your employer (previously called a payment summary or group certificate). This document shows your salary, wages, allowances, and bonuses for the financial year. Once your employer lodges it with the ATO, a tax professional can easily download the information for you.

What Can You Claim?

The good news is, there are many deductions available to mining site employees! These include:

  • Protective clothing and uniforms: Steel-capped boots, overalls, and any clothing with your employer's logo.
  • Self-education expenses: Courses, training, or seminars related to your current job (like first aid certification or a mining cadetship).
  • Equipment and tools: Drills, spanners, or welding equipment (but only the portion you don't use for personal DIY projects).
  • Car expenses: If you drive between jobs or transport bulky equipment because your workplace lacks secure storage.
  • Personal protective items: Gloves, safety glasses, sunscreen, hats, etc.
  • License and permit renewals: Fees to keep your work-related licenses and certificates current (not the initial cost to obtain them).
  • Phone and internet: If you use your personal phone or device for work, and your employer doesn't reimburse you.
  • Industry publications: Journals, magazines, or periodicals specific to your mining profession.
  • Travel expenses: Meals and accommodation for overnight work trips to new mine sites (if you pay for them yourself).

What Can't You Claim?

While there are many deductions available, some common expenses are not claimable. These include:

  • Everyday meals and snacks: Even if your employer gives you an allowance.
  • Regular clothing: Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, etc., even if you only wear them at work.
  • Employer-provided tools and equipment.
  • Driver's license renewal fees.

Keeping Records

To ensure a smooth tax return process, keep good records of your expenses. This can include digital copies (photos or email receipts) as long as they clearly show:

  • Supplier name
  • Expense amount
  • Nature of the goods or service
  • Date of purchase
  • Date of the document

You typically don't need receipts for expenses under $10 (as long as the total doesn't exceed $200).

Made a Mistake? Don't Panic!

Everyone makes mistakes. If you realize you've submitted incorrect information, the key is to address it quickly. A tax professional can help you amend your return to avoid any penalties.

Disclaimer - 

The information in this article is for general information only. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice. MPI is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how this information relates to your unique circumstances.

MPi Newshound
Mining People International