Students or Apprentices

Download the pdf to see what you can claim: Apprentice.pdf

Supporting students or apprentices year round

If you are an apprentice or studying full time  we'll take care of your tax return. Culburra Beach Accounting & Tax is sharpening our pencils to help you achieve your best possible tax refund.

Even if you're an international student, but studying for 6 months or longer, you are usually considered an Australian Resident for tax purposes and may be required to file your student tax return each year. 

Whether you're a student on a gap year, working part-time, doing fruit-picking or hospitality/retail work, you could be eligible for a tax refund.  We can help you work out your residency status, the tax rate that applies to you and file the return correctly so you can get any refund you’re entitled to sooner rather than later.

Calling all apprentice or trainee carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, painters etc. Our trainee and apprentice tax deductions guide is here! Whether you’re an apprentice or trainee carpenter, electrician, mechanic, plumber, bricklayer or painter (just to name a few), we have all the apprentice tax deductions covered for you in this guide!

Starting out in a trade or traineeship involves long hours spent learning the ropes in your chosen field. It’s a common misconception that apprentices or trainees can’t claim much on their tax return. But, did you know that even though you’re just starting out as a trainee or apprentice, there are an array of deductions available that can help deliver a pretty big tax return for you?

To help you get the most of out of your next refund we have created a list of common tax deductions for apprentices and trainees. For the best possible refund, read this guide before you complete your next tax return!

What are the most common Tax Deductions for Apprentices and Trainees?

Clothing and Protective Items

Firstly, do you need to wear branded clothing to work? Or maybe you need hi-vis items and steel-capped boots?

Chances are the answer to one (or both) of those questions is yes. And, that’s good news at tax time!

Branded shirts, pants, hats and protective items like boots, safety glasses and hi-vis clothing are all common trainee and apprentice tax deductions. Clothing that is NOT branded is not tax deductible. For example, you can’t claim a plain black pair of cargo pants to work, even if they’re compulsory. However, you can claim a pair of steel capped boots or a safety vest, if it is considered protective in nature.

Example #1
Dean works as an apprentice mechanic and purchased a company high-vis shirt with the business logo and branding on it, along with a pair of steel capped boots. Dean spent a total of $475 on these items. At tax time Dean claims back the full $475 as a tax deduction because the clothing is all protective in nature.

Sunscreen and Sun Protection

Working outside is often a big part of the job. Make sure you are keeping track of any sunscreen, zinc, hats or sunglasses you purchase as these items can all be claimed back.

Cleaning and Laundry

As an apprentice or trainee chances you’re always getting your hands (and clothes) dirty. Make sure you keep track of how often you’re washing your work clothes as you can also claim a deduction for laundry expenses. Our tax return makes this simple for you. Just enter the number of times you wash per week, and we’ll do the maths for you to work out how much you can claim!

Tools and Equipment Deductions for apprentices and Trainees

As a trade’s apprentice or trainee, you are often required to buy certain tools for work out of your own pocket. Tax time is when you can claim these expenses back!

  • Items below $300 can be claimed in full as part of your tax return.
  • Items over $300 need to be depreciated over a number of years. Let your tax agent know the total cost and when the item was purchased and they will run the maths for you.

Just be aware if the tools are sometimes used for non-work-related purposes, you’ll need claim a work-related percentage rather than the full purchase price.

Example #2
Mitch bought himself a battery powered drill for $550, a grinder for $100 and a sander for $119. He uses the drill solely for work purposes and the grinder and sander and split 50/50 for work and personal use. As the drill costs more than $300, Mitch’s accountant helps him claim the drill across the next 3 years. (The effective life of a battery powered drill if defined by the ATO as 3 years.) As Mitch uses the grinder and sander 50% for work, and they cost less than $300 he can claim 50% of their purchase price in full on his return.

Mobile Phone Expenses

Here’s another common, but often overlooked tax deduction for apprentices and trainees.

Do you make and receive calls for work on your personal mobile phone ? It might be to call your boss about a job you’re working on or ordering supplies for site. If yes, you can claim a work-related percentage of your phone use on your return. To work out your work-related percentage, go through a typical monthly phone bill and work out how many calls are work related vs personal. If 50 out of 100 calls are work-related, that’s 50%. Therefore, you can claim 50% of your monthly phone bill on your return.

Example #3
Here’s an example of this in action. Josh is an apprentice electrician working on numerous worksites for various contractors. This means Josh spends a fair amount of time on the phone coordinating days and times at different sites. Josh’s monthly phone bill is $89. He calculated that typically 60% of his phone use is work related with a review of his monthly bill. That means he can claim 60% of $89, which is $53.40 per month as a work-related tax deduction. Therefore, $53.40 x 12 months is a total of $640.80 that Josh can claim back for his phone expenses on his tax return.

Car and Vehicle Tax Deductions for Apprentices and Trainees

A general rule regarding car expenses is that you can’t claim home to work travel. But, there is an exception if you carry heavy or bulky tools (weighing 20kgs or above) AND there’s no safe place at work for you to store them.

So if you’re an apprentice or trainee who fits the above description, all of your work-related car use (even home to work, and back again) is usually tax deductible.

For those apprentices who don’t carry heavy tools, home to work (and vice versa) travel is generally not claimable. But, any other travel you do during the day from one site to another, to pick up supplies or meet with customers is tax deductible.

There are two methods on offer for claiming car expenses:

  1. Log Books: For most trade apprentices who drive a lot for work, this method puts the most money in your pocket at tax time. You need to keep a logbook for 12 continuous weeks of both your work and personal trips. Then you can claim a work-related percentage of ALL your car expenses for the year on your return. This includes fuel, insurance, registration and even interest on a car loan if applicable.
  2. For those trainees or apprentices who only drive occasionally you can claim 68c per kilometre up to 5,000km per year.

Example #4
Luke is an apprentice plumber who carries heavy tools in his Ute to and from work. He works on multiple job sites often travelling from one to another during the day. As Luke uses his car regularly for work related purposes he kept a logbook for 12 continuous weeks. As a result, he calculates that his work-related use is 80% of his total car use.

Therefore, Luke can claim 80% of his fuel, registration, insurance, car loan interest and maintenance costs as a tax deduction on his return.

Self Education Expenses

As an apprentice or trainee, you are more than likely taking part in some form of education. Any associated expenses can usually be claimed back on your tax return. This could be a certificate, diploma or specialist upskilling. Any textbooks, training manuals, stationery and internet usage related to the self education can also be claimed.

Book an appointment today for a faster refund. Book an appointment now 

Beyond your return

We don’t just lodge and forget. Tax time is our time to shine but we’re also here for the rest of the year to help with student-specific situations such as understanding the tax implications of part-time work, HEC/HELP debt, working holidays and residency issues for example.

While you’re busy gaining knowledge, we’re busy applying ours to maximising what’s in your pocket. 

Pre-appointment tax checklist

Use our checklist What do I need to bring to my appointment- Culburra Beach Accounting & Tax.docx  to ensure you come prepared to your appointment. The sooner you can get ready, the sooner you can receive your refund.

Tax tips for Students

Check out the following tax tips on our TAX TIPS Section to help you manage tax time:

  • How to lodge a tax return
  • Claiming self education expenses
  • Understanding HECS & HELP loam schemes
  • Applying for a tax file number

 Maximum refund guarantee

 We can review your tax return ( up to 2 years) after original notice of assessment if you feel like your tax return was not completed to it's fullest capability. 

Assistance, anytime

Our year-round support means we’re fascinated by numbers both at tax time and beyond. We’re here to help with student-specific situations such as apprentices, part-time work, working holidays, residency issues, tax-saving tips and late tax returns.

Upfront guaranteed pricing

We tell you exactly how much it's going to cost and there are no hidden extras. At participating offices, if you’re an apprentice or a full-time student lets you invest in a better return. The best part is, our fees are tax deductible.

Satisfaction guarantee

By offering expert and personal service, we have the know-how to ensure you get all the offsets and deductions you deserve.