Tax Guide for Apprentices

As an apprentice or trainee, you may be under the impression that you cannot claim much on your tax return, however this is just a common misconception. Apprentices and trainees are eligible for a variety of deductions that can help increase the amount of your tax return. This guide will walk you through some of the most common tax deductions for apprentices and provide other helpful tips to ensure you end up with the highest possible amount of cash back in your pocket.

What can an apprentice claim on tax? 

There are a variety of deduction categories in which apprentices and trainees may qualify in. Clothing expenses, such as protective workwear like steel-capped boots, safety glasses, ear muffs, respirator masks, and hard hats are all claimable items. You may also be able to claim tools and equipment used for work such as drills, saws, hammers, and any other tools required to complete tasks on the job. If you use public transport or pay parking fees to complete work each day or if you use your own car for business related travel such as visiting suppliers, customers, or clients, then you may be able to claim personal vehicle expenses also. If you are required to travel for work, you may also be entitled to claim accommodation and meal allowances. If you undertake any upskilling, courses, or education relating to your position, for example your apprenticeship course at a registered training organisation (RTO), then these fees may also be claimed as an expense. 

Other Tips and Questions to Consider   

When claiming deductions, it is important to keep track of all of your receipts throughout the financial year. Make sure that all receipts are valid with correct details such as date of purchase, description of purchase and cost associated with it. It is also important to keep in mind that only purchases made during the financial year in which they are claimed can be deducted from your taxable income. Expenses under $300 may be claimed in full, however expenses over this may need to have depreciation proved over time. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made this process simple with their expenses and record keeping tool ‘my Deductions’ found by downloading the ATO App. This App helps you keep organised and will make your tax return a more streamlined process. 

The Australian Taxation Office provides an array of tax deductions available specifically tailored towards apprentices and trainees completing their trade qualifications or studying full-time at an RTO. By understanding what can (and cannot) be claimed against your taxable income, you can ensure that you get the most out of your tax return while avoiding any penalties associated with incorrect claims or fraudulent behaviour. Contacting an accountant and mapping out your upcoming financial year is also a proactive and advantageous activity for anyone starting out in their career. With this guide in hand, you should now have more knowledge and feel confident that you can successfully maximize your tax refund and make your tax return work in your best interest. Happy end of financial year! For more tax tips, visit our Tax Tips for Tradies guide.

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