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Tax Time 24 - Teacher Tax Benefits and What to Claim

Tax Time 2024: Teacher Tax Benefits and Tips on What to Claim

It’s tax time. Here’s our guide for teachers to maximise your claims and take advantage of the tax benefits on offer for teachers.

June is here, which means it’s time to get your records together to maximise your tax return. To make things easier, we’ve pulled together a list of the most common deductions that teachers can claim as well as tax benefits for teachers that you should be aware of. Plus, we’ve included some record keeping tips to make doing your teacher tax return a breeze.  

Teacher Tax Claims: What you Need to Know  

For teachers, figuring out your tax claims comes down to three main things: 

  1. Have you spent the money yourself without compensation from your employer?
  2. Is the expense directly related to how you earn your income?
  3. Do you have a record to prove the expense?

If you answer yes to all these questions, there’s a good chance you can claim the expense as a tax deduction. It’s worth noting that if the expense was used for both work and private purposes—e.g. a computer that you purchased that is used to create lesson plans as well as for personal things—you can only claim a deduction on the work-related part of the purchase.  

Common Tax Deductions for Teachers  

To get you started, here are some of the most common tax claims you can make as a teacher.  


  • Teaching supplies: teaching resources or materials that were not paid for or reimbursed by your employers   
  • Any uniforms (or clothing with your school logo on it) including laundry costs that you may have to wear if on block   
  • Work related books, magazines, newspapers, and journals  
  • Protective hat and sunscreen used when working outside  
  • Computer consumables (for example, printer paper and ink) and stationery  
  • Home office equipment, including computers, printers, phones, furniture and furnishings – you can claim either the full cost of items up to $300 decline in value for items over $300.

Fees, compliance, and subscriptions  

  • Union or membership fees   
  • NESA accreditation annual renewal fees  
  • Teaching registration fees and related costs    
  • Working with children check / Blue card applications  
  • Cost of relevant memberships and subscriptions (Teach Starter, Twinkl, etc.) 

Professional development and training costs  

  • Self-education that relates to your current teaching role e.g. your ClassCover Learn membership  
  • Accredited paid courses face to face or online that improve your capacity as a teacher e.g. Numeracy, Literacy, Sports coaching, Arts, Leadership, Science etc.

Travel (if not already reimbursed)  

  • If you have been left out of pocket for work related travel expenses that you haven’t been reimbursed for by your employer, you may be able to claim these as tax deductions. These can include:  

Car expenses   

Trips to and from work are considered a private expense and are generally not tax deductible, however, there are some exceptions. For example, car expenses may be considered a deduction if you use your personal vehicle to transport students to and from school excursions or events. You may also be able to claim a deduction for transporting bulky equipment if:   

  • The school you are working at requires you to transport the equipment for work to and from an event   
  • The equipment was essential to earning your income   
  • There was no secure area to store the equipment at the work location   
  • The equipment is too large or bulky to transport

The per kilometre car expense claim rate for 2023-24 is 85 cents per km for up to 5,000 business kms. This claim method avoids the need to keep track of individual car expenses and receipts. It is essential that if you are using this method, you keep a travel logbook in your car and record all trips with odometer readings, even when they are not for work purposes. This log must be running for at least 12 weeks to be accepted as evidence.  

For one off travel expense claims you may keep a travel diary and receipts for fuel, food and accommodation. If you are claiming for work-related travel expenses for 6 or more nights you MUST keep a travel diary.  

NSW Department of Education teachers can also apply for travel expense reimbursement, within 4 weeks of travel through SAP with their Principal’s permission. 

Tips on keeping your teacher tax return records 

Whether you plan on using an accountant to help with your teacher tax return or submitting it yourself, the best thing you can do to make this process easy is to stay organised and keep your expenses in order throughout the year so you aren’t in a frenzy when the end of the financial year rolls around. Here are our tips to stay organised when it comes to your expenses and tax claims as a teacher:

Create a dedicated folder for your tax docs  

One of the easiest ways to keep your tax info organised is to create a dedicated folder to keep it all. Using Google Drive or another cloud-based storage system is your best bet—this way you can download the app on your phone and upload your receipts directly into your tax return folder as soon as you get them. When it comes time to do your tax return, everything you need will be in the one place.  

Use an expense tracking app 

Apps can be a great way to keep track of your expenses throughout the year. Most let you sort expenses into categories like professional development, supplies for the classroom, and travel.  

Record your expenses immediately 

Something we can all relate to is leaving tax return prep to the last minute, leading to a frantic few hours spent trawling through bank statements and scrounging for receipts to claim work expenses. The best way to prevent this is by recording your expenses immediately, ideally using one of the methods listed above.  

See an accountant  

Let’s face it—not everyone is talented when it comes to the world of tax. That’s where accountants come in. While it can seem tempting to save yourself a few bucks and do your teacher tax return yourself, choosing to see a professional has a lot of benefits. As well as alleviating stress, accountants can help make sure you are meeting all of your tax obligations, so you don’t run afoul of the ATO. They are also able to provide personalised advice and, in some cases, even help you get a better tax return.

If you need more information on what you can and can’t claim on your teacher tax return, the ATO has a tax time guide for teachers

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