What can you claim on tax without receipts?

August 31, 2022

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense, as per ATO, you must meet the 3 golden rules:

1. You must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed.
2. The expenses must directly relate to earning your income.
3. You must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

source: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/

You can claim a deduction for many expenses without written evidence such as a receipt, as long as you have kept some other form of evidence, such as diary entries, bank records or pay slips.

If you don’t have a receipt for an expense you want to claim on your tax return, the ATO may not allow the deduction. It’s best to keep receipts for all expenses, but if you don’t have one, you may still be able to claim the deduction if you can prove the expense was necessary for your work.

What happens if you don’t have a receipt? What if you lost it, or it’s so faded that you can’t read it? In this article we will through light on these specific tax deduction and tax accounting issues that are common.

You might still be able to claim certain items on your taxes without a receipt, but there are restrictions. The expense must be “allowable”, meaning it is directly related to and needed for your occupation, you paid for it yourself, and you were not reimbursed or paid back by your employer (or anyone else). If you can say yes to all of that, and you have a credit card statement or bank statement showing the purchase, the ATO may accept the deduction. However, if they disallow the deduction, you may have to pay money back to the ATO.

Claiming Tax Deductions Without Receipts

To illustrate, lets ask the question what do you claim as tax deductions when you don’t have a receipt?

Obviously there may be genuine cases where you can claim a tax deduction without a receipt, but you need to bear in mind that there are serious restrictions for tax accounting purposes.

The ATO will only accept expenses that are “allowable”, which means that they must be directly related to your occupation, you must have paid for them yourself, and you cannot have been reimbursed or paid back by your employer. If you have a credit card statement or bank statement showing the purchase, this may be enough to prove the expense.

However, if the purchase contains both work-related and personal items, you will need a way to distinguish between the two.

Here is a list of common items that you might be able to claim without a receipt:

• Work related Fuel/Petrol (https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/ATO-app/myDeductions/?=redirected_myDeductions)
• Computer items
• Professional Membership Fees or Union Fees (Membership proof document will serve the place of the receipt)
• Stationery

The ATO will not accept cash payments, items with price tags attached, or catalogues/advertisements as proof of purchase for work-related deductions.

In this article, we have covered 7 different tax deduction scenarios for tax accounting educational purposes:

1. Home Office Expenses provision by ATO as a response to Covid-19
source: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Working-from-home-expenses/Shortcut-method/

The temporary shortcut method simplifies how you calculate your deduction for working from home expenses.

Using this method, you: can claim 80 cents per hour for each hour you work from home can’t claim any other expenses for working from home, even if you bought new equipment.

The shortcut method covers all your working from home expenses, such as:
• phone and data expenses
• internet expenses
• the decline in value of equipment and furniture
• electricity and gas for heating, cooling and lighting.

2. Tax Deductions on Donations

source: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/deductions-you-can-claim/other-deductions/gifts-and-donations/

Bucket donations
If you made donations of $2 or more to bucket collections – for example, to collections conducted by an approved organisation for natural disaster victims – you can claim a tax deduction for gifts up to $10 without a receipt.

To claim contributions of more than $10, you need a receipt.

3. Car Work-related Expenses

You can claim a deduction for travel between two jobs or sites on the same day using the cents per kilometre method, up to a maximum of 5,000km for the 2020/21 financial year. You will need to provide diary records of your work-related trips to show how you have calculated your work kilometres. If you travel more than 5,000km, you will need to keep a logbook. However the ATO does not allow a deduction for travel trips from home-to-work and work to home.

4. Uniforms and Protective Clothing

You can claim a deduction of $150 for work-related uniforms and protective gearings without receipts. This includes the costs of buying branded uniforms, protective gear i.e. steel-cap boots and high-visibility clothing.

5. Uniform Washing or Laundry

The ATO considers a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim as follows: $1 per load for work-related clothing, and 50 cents per load if private laundry items are included.

6. Phone and Internet Bills

You can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of your phone bill if your employer requires you to use your phone for work. You will need to keep records of your phone usage for a 4-week period in order to calculate the deduction.

7. Tax Deduction claiming phone (device)

If you use your phone for work, you can claim a depreciation expense on the phone without receipts. Mobiles have a life of 3 years. There are 3 methods of claiming: Immediate depreciation if cost under $300, otherwise, use the one of the 2 methods below: Diminishing = phone cost x no.days held / 365days x (200/3) x portion % of work use. Prime Cost = phone cost x no.days held / 365days x (100/3) x portion % of work use.

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