There are three rules for what the ATO accept as a valid business deduction:
- The expense must have been for your business, not for private use.
- If the expense is for a mix of business and private use, you can only claim the portion that is used for your business.
- You must have records to prove it.
For example, if you buy a laptop and you only use it for your business, you can claim a deduction for the full purchase price. However, if you use the laptop 50% of the time for your business and 50% of the time for private use, you can only claim 50% of the amount as a deduction.
You can’t claim the GST component of a purchase as a deduction if you can claim it as a GST credit on your business activity statement. If you are not GST registered you can claim the inclusive GST cost as a tax deduction.
If you’re in an industry that requires physical contact with customers, such as healthcare, retail or hospitality, you can claim deductions for expenses related to COVID-19 safety. This includes hand sanitiser, sneeze or cough guards, other personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.