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Weird And Wonderful Business Tax Deductions You Probably Didn’t Know About

From fridges to moisturiser, there are hundreds of surprising items that are tax deductible. Depending on your industry, here’s what you could claim.

With the Federal Government’s recent renewed focus on supporting small business through tax relief in the Budget [link to Budget article], we take a look at some of the lesser-known existing exemptions that many business owners aren’t claiming. So strap in as we enter the weird, wacky and wonderful world of business tax exemptions.

Note that from 1 July 2015, all companies with annual turnover of less than $2 million will receive a 1.5% tax cut for next financial year, with your tax rate falling from 30% to 28.5%. (If $2 million or above, your rate remains at 30%.)

Wear Protection
You probably know you’re entitled to claim Tools of Trade items such as software, notebook computers, personal electronic organisers, digital cameras, briefcases, protective clothing, and mobile phones.

What you might not know is that those who work in the great Aussie outdoors can claim sun protection items such as hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Or that flight attendants can claim moisturiser and compression stockings. And truck drivers rejoice – you can claim a portable fridge to keep your sandwiches cold on those long haul trips.

Ground-level Club
Regular travel a part of your business? Console yourself over yet another cancelled flight by enjoying the fruits of an airport lounge membership, content in the knowledge you can claim against the costs.

Do you invest time and money in research and development? Eligible companies can claim a refundable tax offset (proposed to change to 43.5 per cent in the recent Federal Budget), including wages incurred, if turnover is less than $20m.

Car Mileage
It’s widely known that you cannot claim mileage between home and work. However if you’re required to transport bulky items between work and home, you’re entitled to claim that travel. (Note: bulky items do not include a laptop or your lunchbox.)

As at 1 July 2016, you can now claim 66 cents per work-related kilometre (up to a maximum of 5,000 kms) regardless of vehicle type.

Eat In
While social lunches and drinks (including alcohol) at restaurants or bars incur Fringe Benefits Tax, light business-related lunches at a café during business hours are tax deductible and don’t incur Fringe Benefits Tax. ‘In-house’ meals which are offered to employees on the business premises are also fully tax deductible, as long as the meal isn’t offered in a ‘social’ environment.

Loss By Employee Theft Or Fraud
Been hit by a light-fingered team member? This may soften the blow – any losses not covered by insurance can be claimed against.

Going To The Dogs
Need a guard dog to protect your premises from intrusion or theft? You can claim related expenses such as pet food and vet fees.


As always, when it comes to important business decisions, consult an expert tax agent or accountant. (Not only will they help you keep abreast of these ever-changing deductions, and ensure you meet your tax obligations. Plus, their fees are deductible.)