There are a wide range of jobs considered in the ‘factory worker’ industry. Jobs range from manual tasks to those who work complex machinery in manufacturing plants where safety is a critical concern. The work can be physically demanding but also quite technical and highly responsible with the operation of large machinery. There are a number of tax deductions that those who work in the industry can claim come tax time to make the most from your tax return.

Uniforms and protective clothing

People who are employed as factory workers must wear safety clothing to protect themselves from their work environment. Clothing that hasn’t been supplied by an employer and that has been an out-of-pocket expense in order to do the job is tax deductible. Maintenance and repair expenses without reimbursement from the employer can also be claimed.

Specific items may include:

  • Purchase, repair, laundering or cleaning of uniforms or clothing with company specific logo
  • Protective equipment can include:
    • Steel Toe Boots
    • Non slip/waterproof boots
    • Masks
    • Overalls
    • Gloves
    • Hard hats
    • Hair nets
    • Goggles
    • High-vis vests, jackets and trousers
    • Ear muffs/plugs
    • Sun protection (Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, gloves, sunvests or jackets)

Training and licenses

Training for factory works isn’t limited to learning new skills. Maintaining current licenses and occupational health and safety training is part of the job. When these items are directly related to earning an income, and they are out-of-pocket expenses, they are tax deductible.

Tax deductible inclusions can be:

  • Forklift license
  • Health and safety certificates
  • Fire training
  • First aid training
  • Staff supervision

The costs associated with doing the course or obtaining the licences can be claimed. Fees, internet usage, phone calls, travel costs, accommodation and meals, stationery, books and training manuals, and any tools and equipment you need to undertake the course are valid claims.

Union fees, subscriptions to journals and magazines may also be on the list as additional tax deductions if they directly relate to your work.

Travel and Accommodation

Travel to and from a place of work is considered to be a private trip in the eyes of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), however if travel is required between offices, to another factory or to a conference or for a client meeting and a personal car is used or the employees has purchased public transport tickets, paid for parking, tolls, or used a taxi or Uber ride, those expenses are tax deductible.

Meals and incidentals can be claimed if overtime is worked, or also if an employee has stayed somewhere overnight or longer for work.

Car expenses can be claimed if a personal car has been used for work-related purposes from a place of work. It’s best to use a log book or the cents per kilometre method to make these claims.

Work Tools and Equipment

Items such as tooling, electronic organisers, laptop computers and mobile phones necessary to do a job can be claimed, as can be the cost of any materials that have been required to do the job. This can include stationery, diary, logbook, backpacks or belt bags.

Pro Tax Tip: Keep your receipts! The ATO can ask for you to prove your tax claims for up to five years. You can keep an electronic version of your receipts if it is a clear and true copy of the original. Using apps and software is an easy way to keep yourself organised and tax compliant.

Other Expenses

There are a range of miscellaneous expenses. Donations to registered charities over $2, the cost of bank fees charged on investment accounts, income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums, tax agent fees and even the cost of travelling to a tax agent are claimable expenses.

Three golden rules

The ATO has three golden rules when it comes to deducting claims:

  1. You must have already incurred the
  2. The expense must be work-related

You must be able to prove your claim

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