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Deduction for Lawyers: A Law for Lawyers

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Imagine a court room without any lawyer. Who’s going to argue for you or who’s going to give you legal advice! Australian Taxation Office also doesn’t want such situation and that’s why they are offering numerous deduction opportunities for lawyers in recognition of their notable services. Deduction is the most enjoyable part of your tax calculation where you can claim your expenses to reduce your taxable income. But not all the expenses can be claimed for deduction. If you are aware of all those items, your tax bill will be reduced and there will be more money in your pocket! Let’s see what a lawyer can claim as deductions and what not.
Like most other occupations, there are some specific work related expenses for lawyers which can be claimed as deductions. However, the ATO requires you to fulfil some conditions to be entitled to claim those. You must have a record to prove your expense and the expense must be related to your job. And if you weren’t reimbursed for the expense, you can claim it as a deduction.
Here is a list for most common work-related expenses incurred by a lawyer which are allowable as deductions:

  •  Annual Practising Certificate Fees;
  • Depreciation expenses for –
    • Answering machines, beepers, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunication equipment;
    • Briefcases;
    • Calculators and electronic organisers;
    • Computers and computer software;
    • Professional library;
    • Wigs worn by lawyers for appearances in court;
    • Equipment costing $300 or less.
  • Work related clothing, uniforms and footwear;
  • Conferences, seminars and training courses;
  • Fares-cost of using public transport for work-related travel;
  • Hiring equipment;
  • Home office expense;
  • Insurance of tools and equipment;
  • Insurance covering income continuance;
  • Interest costs;
  • Overtime meals;
  • Medical examinations for licence renewal;
  • Parking fees and tolls;
  • Repairing cost for tools and equipment;
  • Stationery;
  • Self-education expenses;
  • Supreme court library fees;
  • Technical or professional publications;
  • Telephone calls and telephone rental;
  • Travel Expenses other than home to work travel expense;
  • Union and professional association fees

If the above expenses are incurred other than for work purpose, they won’t be regarded as allowable anymore. But if the expenses occurred for both work and private purpose jointly, only the work-related portion can be claimed as deduction.


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