Every year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) sees many strange claims for “work expenses” which they have to refuse.
You can claim for certain job expenses, such as tools, protective clothing, professional fees, and even transport costs. However, some workers try to push their claims beyond a reasonable limit.
The following claims, from a number of sources, have been made to the ATO in the past. None were successful.
A smoker who had to go to a park near his office for a cigarette tried to claim the cost of sunscreen and an umbrella, because he was sometimes exposed to sun or rain.
Another smoker claimed a deduction for the cost of his cigarettes, arguing that they reduced his stress levels.
A tradie wanted to claim for the cost of his dog’s food, because sometimes he took his dog to work with him to guard his tools and equipment.
You can claim travelling costs if you have to carry bulky tools and equipment, and you have nowhere secure to store them. However, a hairdresser tried to claim her travel costs because she had to transport her scissors and clippers.
Some teachers have tried to claim their Foxtel subscription, saying that Foxtel was helpful in forming lesson plans.
A PE teacher wanted to claim membership to a football club, on the grounds of “professional development”.
An office worker argued that his 60-inch plasma screen TV was not for entertainment, but to use as a second screen for his laptop.
A car salesperson attempted to claim cupcakes as necessary “afternoon tea” supplies.
One taxpayer even tried to claim the cost of edible underwear.