Teachers at tax time

If you’re a teacher or work in a school there are some things that you can claim on tax that other people can’t. Did you know that if you need to do yard duty you may be able to claim sunglasses and a hat? But if you are a PE teacher you probably can’t claim runners or sports clothes.

Here are the most common things you may be able to claim - we recommend checking with your accountant first though as some teachers and school staff can claim things that other staff cannot.

School supplies for your classroom

If you need to purchase school supplies for classroom use, you may be able to claim these as a deduction. If the school reimburses you for the purchase of supplies you will not be able to claim a deduction. School supplies include paper, stationery, textas, pens or pencils.

Home office expenses

Do you do any work at home? If you complete any research, marking, or planning at home you may be able to claim home office expenses such as depreciation on your personal computer, stationery and sundry items such as paper, printer ink, pens, electricity used, internet and phone usage in the course of completing your work. Your accountant will be able to help you identify these.

Self-education and professional learning resources

If you’re studying you may be able to claim deductions for textbooks, stationery, union fees, course fees and certain travel fees if they relate to your current teaching role. You can’t claim education expenses if the education is designed to get you a job, a new job or income from a new income-earning activity.

You may be able to claim work related books, magazines and journals.

Registration and union fees

AEU membership may be able to be tax deductable, as are other union membership fees. You may be able to claim teaching registration fees and related costs.

Protective clothing

If you are required to work outdoors you may be able to claim items that protect you from the sun including sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

What proof do you need to claim expenses?

You’ll need to be able to prove that you’ve incurred these expenses, the best way to do this is to keep receipts and invoices. If you’re claiming travel or home office expenses you’ll need to keep a diary of kilometres driven as well as phone and internet bills. If you’re claiming depreciation on home office equipment you’ll need the receipts for these items as well.

Don’t forget you can claim the cost of managing your tax affairs, this includes fees associated with visiting an accountant or submitting a tax return.

The information above is designed as a helpful guide only - you should consult a registered tax agent or accountant before making any decisions.