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Travel, Cars, Home Office – The Tax Deductions For The Marketing Professional

Doing the numbers might not necessarily be your thing if you work in sales or marketing – especially when it comes to your tax. Tax time might seem like a distressing situation in that case, but that’s when you can come to someone like us (a tax professional) for the help that you need when it comes to lodging your tax return.

Like with every profession, you will be able to claim back some of the work-related expenses that you may incur during your work for the year in the form of tax deductions. This can help to reduce the due amount that you may have to pay in the long run.

Typical Tax Deductions For The Marketing/Sales/Communication Professional

No matter how far in your career path that you may have progressed, you will always have to pay some form of tax. Depending on what you may be able to claim, you may be able to offset some of the amounts that you may owe to the ATO (or increase what the ATO owes you in your tax refund).

For those individuals who may be employed in the marketing, sales or media/communication fields and sectors, there are some tax deductions that you may be able to apply for unilaterally.

Motor Vehicles

If your position requires you to travel you may be able to claim back on the motor vehicle expenses for travelling for work. This may involve the transportation of bulky equipment when visiting clients, travelling between places of work, or if you have to travel between offices.

Devices, Technology And Bills

If you have been required to work from home or had to use your personal devices for work-related purposes, you may be able to claim back on the percentage of the cost that is work-related.

You may also be able to claim back on devices bought for work usage, according to the percentage of time versus use that the device was used to complete tasks/work with.

Home Office

If you have had to work from home over the last year, you may be able to claim on the home office occupancy costs. This may even include a percentage of the rent, mortgage interest, rates or insurance, among others. But be careful of the Capital Gains sting.

Client Gifts

Client gifts bought for work purposes by salespersons who are entitled to receive commission income – this could include a Christmas hamper, a bottle of alcohol, gift vouchers, flowers or more.

Training/Certifications

If you are renewing a sales certificate or professional body membership, this may be a tax deduction that you can claim on your tax return.

You may also be able to claim back on work-related short training courses (such as first aid, OHS, bookkeeping etc) or self-education course fees on your return. This may include the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for the course.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier