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Tax deductions for the self-employed

Even if you don’t run a big multi-faceted business or employ an army of staff, there are still plenty of tax deductions that you could be eligible for. The most important thing to remember is that you will need to have a record to prove your expenses, so make sure you keep a handle on your finances throughout the year – QuickBooks Self-Employed can help with that.

There are a few expenses you can claim without receipts, but more often than not, you need to be able to directly relate your deductions and your income. With tax time looming, here are some of the top expenses you may be eligible for as someone who is self-employed.

Vehicle and travel

Consider if you can claim any deductions for travel expenses that directly relate to your work. You’ll need to keep a travel expense record or you can use QuickBooks app to track your mileage.

Home office

If you work from home, you may be able to claim some deductions that relate to running your home office. This could be phone or internet expenses, decline in value of office equipment, heating/cooling or lighting to name a few. To help calculate this cost, it’s worthwhile keeping a record of how many hours you spend working from home.

If you operate some or all of your business from home, you may be able to claim tax deductions for the business portion of expenses. These may include: occupancy expenses ( such as mortgage interest or rent, council rates, land taxes, house insurance premiums)

Clothing and laundry

Depending on the type of work you conduct, you may be able to claim a deduction for the buying or cleaning of your work uniforms. There are quite a few specifics around claiming for clothing and laundry expenses, so it’s worthwhile brushing up on the ATO’s requirements.


When you’re self-employed or loving the freelance life, it can be easy to forget that you might be able to claim some self-education expenses. This could be things such as formal qualifications, or courses that have a significant connection to your current work activities.

And it’s not just the activities themselves, you may also be eligible for related expenses, such as course fees, internet usage, phone calls, parking fees and more. Do your research to make sure you claim correctly.

Tools and equipment

You may also be able to claim for tools and equipment that help you earn your income. Examples could include computers and software, office equipment like desks and chairs, protective items, hand tools or safety equipment. There are also times when you could be eligible to claim for things like sunscreen or even handbags. Find out more here.

There are so many tax deductions that you could be eligible for so make sure you do your research before completing your tax return. If you need an accountant to help you, check out our Find A ProAdvisor program.

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