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What Expenses Can I Claim on Tax Without Receipts?

What Expenses Can Be Claimed on Tax Without Receipts?

The safest way to claim a tax deduction is with the support of receipts. However, written evidence comes in more than just receipt form. In some cases, you can rely on credit, debit or bank statements and information from your tax agent. Or you may have kept your receipts, but they have faded and you are unable to read them, or your receipts have gone missing. So, you need to know where you stand for tax deductions without receipts. 

If you decide to make tax claims without receipts, you’ll need to satisfy the following criteria: 

  • You can claim tax deductions without receipts if it is an expense directly related to your occupation and necessary for your occupation. 
  • You can claim work-related deductions if you paid for the work-related item from your personal account. 
  • If you are not reimbursed for your expenditure and you paid for the work-related item from your personal account, you can claim the expense. 

In many cases, the ATO will accept a bank statement or other written evidence that you made the purchase. If you purchased multiple items on one receipt, and some are personal and some for work, you need to distinguish between personal expenses and work-related expenses. If in doubt, a tax agent will be able to help. 

What Can You Claim Without Receipts?

It's important to remember that there are limits to what you can claim without receipts. It isn't as simple as filing your expenses without a receipt and expecting the ATO to take your word for it – you do need supporting evidence. 

Travel Expenses

If you travel from office to office or to different job sites and use your private vehicle to handle those work-related activities, then you can claim travel expenses. More importantly, you do not need to keep your receipts. You can simply keep a logbook of the kilometres you drive for work. 

If you maintain the logbook for 12 consecutive weeks at a minimum, you can use this as evidence. A tax agent can help you calculate the deduction on your tax claim. The ATO allows you to claim 72 cents per kilometre. The maximum is 5,000 kilometres per financial year. So, if you travel over 5,000 km each financial year, you need to start maintaining a logbook. This is easy with the right app.

Membership Fees

You will most likely find membership fees or union dues itemised on an income statement, PAYG summary or other summary documents from your tax agent or employer. As long as you have a form of written evidence, you can claim these deductions without a receipt. This type of documentation is more than enough for the ATO. 

Stationery & Computer Items 

Whether you are a sole trader or working from home, you can claim stationery costs as long as you have proof in a credit or debit card statement. You simply need to make a note next to the relevant items on the statement. Ideally, taking photographic evidence of the items is acceptable supporting evidence. 

The same is applicable to computer items or equipment. It is far easier to retain receipts, especially in the digital world we live in, but you can take a photo of the packaging, receipt, and credit or debit card statement to support your claim. 

Clothing & Uniforms 

You can claim up to $150 for the purchase of branded uniforms, personal protective equipment or dry cleaning. If you want to claim over $150, then you need receipts or documentation to prove your expenses. This $150 still forms part of your total $300 limit. 

Working From Home 

There are plenty of advantages to working from home, but most people underestimate the increase in costs. You may not need to pay for petrol to go to work or buy lunch at a cafe, but working from home will increase your utility bills. You may even need to invest in a home office. 

For people who work from home, the ATO offers a rate per hour method. You can claim 52 cents per hour for every hour you work from home. This rate per hour method covers all of the expenses you would be eligible for with receipts, including internet, furniture, electricity, equipment, etc. If you make use of this method you can't make additional claims on home office expenses you hold receipts for.

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What You Can't Claim 

The safest way to proceed is to retain receipts for all of your work and home office expenses. Claiming deductions is a complicated part of the tax filing process. If you buy something with cash, then you cannot try to claim it. You can't tell the ATO you don't have a record of it because you paid cash. If you try to use this as a deduction, the ATO will disallow it. It may also call some of your other expenses into question. 

You also cannot take a photograph of an item with a price tag with no evidence that you made the purchase. The price tag provides no indication to the ATO that you made the purchase. 

You cannot use an ad or catalogue as evidence to support how much you paid for something either. 

How Much Can I Claim Without Receipts?

If you purchased work-related items, whether working from home or in the office, you can claim up to $300. There may be a chance that you are eligible to claim more than this, but without the evidence you made these purchases, you are limited. So, if you want to claim more, you need to retain receipts. The best way to manage your taxes moving forward is to retain the receipts you need to claim your expenses accurately. It can greatly reduce the amount you owe to the ATO.

Use QuickBooks Online

Good record-keeping will save you a lot of time, effort and stress come tax season. It's particularly useful for self-employed individuals as every dollar counts. And that can impact just how much tax you pay at the end of the year. 

The best way to keep detailed records and ensure everything is in order is through a handy tool such as QuickBooks Taxes Software. You can easily track deductions, manage work-related expenses, car expenses and much more. The mobile app also allows you to automatically capture receipts so you have a paper trail sans paper. All you need to do is snap a photo, store it and organise the receipts right from your phone. When tax season rolls in, everything you need will be in one place. 

It is useful to know what you are eligible to claim on your tax return and what you can't claim without a receipt. If you are not sure, it is best to seek advice from a professional tax agent who can provide you with guidance. 

You can use our ‘Find a ProAdvisor directory to find an advisor near you.

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