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Five Major Tax Benefits in Australia

Tax Benefits

Are you missing out on thousands of dollars of tax benefits? Check out the five major tax benefits below and claim your fair share.

Superannuation Contributions

Most people believe that superannuation is a good investment for their future. In that case, it makes sense to maximise your contributions. There are three main types of contribution: employer, personal and government contributions.

Your employer must contribute to your chosen superannuation fund if you earn over $450 per month before tax. That is an extra 9.5% of your wages, which adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout your career. Some employers voluntarily contribute more.

Inside your superannuation fund, contributions and profits are taxed at a very low rate of 15%, so some people contribute their own money. Employees can contribute from their before-tax wage, and pay no tax on those earnings.

Are you a low or middle-income earner? Make an after-tax contribution and the government will automatically make a co-contribution.

Salary Packaging and Novated Car Leases

Many employers offer salary packages that include non-wage “fringe benefits.” The most common benefit is a car.

To finance the car, employers can choose between a car loan, a financial lease and a novated lease.

“Whether you choose to lease or loan a car, each option has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages,” says Simon Potter from “A novated lease is a very flexible option.”

Work-related Expenses

Full-time workers can claim up to $300 of work-related expenses, without having to keep a receipt. But if you keep receipts, you can claim so much more.

Most workers can claim up to $150 of laundry expenses without a receipt if their job requires compulsory, protective or occupation-specific clothing.

Depending on your industry, you may also be able to claim home-office expenses, non-trivial use of personal phones and trade magazines.

First Home Buyer Schemes

You could be eligible for thousands of dollars from the government, to help you buy your first home.

Before you begin searching for your first home, make sure to check the rules in your state or speak with your mortgage broker.

Investment Properties, Negative Gearing and Withholding Variations

If you have an investment property, the obvious rental deductions are mortgage interest, bank fees, council rates, managing agent fees, and insurance.

But don’t forget depreciation. Invest in a depreciation report from a quantity surveyor, and you could claim thousands of dollars in depreciation deductions.

If the rental deductions are greater than the income, often called “negative gearing”, you will show a loss on the rental property section of your tax return. That loss can be deducted against your other income.

Expecting a rental loss on your next tax return? Want to get your tax refund during the year, rather than at the end? Lodge a Withholding Variation with the Australian Tax Office, and your employer will withhold less tax from your pay.

This article is not tax advice. Ask your tax accountant about your particular situation.