The end of the financial year is very close with many of us wondering what we can claim on our tax returns. The good news is that if you meet certain criteria you can claim COVID tests.
To be able to claim a COVID-19 test, the ATO requires that you are an employee, sole trader or contractor and had to get a COVID-19 test for work purposes.
That includes PCR tests through a private clinic, and other tests that are TGA approved such as RAT kits.
In order to claim the expense, you must have paid for the test yourself and not already been reimbursed by your employer and you will need to be able to show the ATO that you did incur the cost.
As with all other work-related expenses you can only claim the portion that relates to work, for example, if you bought a five-pack then you could only claim the cost of one, so you would need to calculate the work-related expense. For example, if you paid $50 for a five-pack but only used one of the tests for work then you could only claim $10 in your work-related expenses.
There are circumstances when you can’t claim a COVID-19 test.
You can’t claim the expense if you got the test for private purposes, were reimbursed for the test by your employer or another person or you work from home and don’t attend your workplace.
The ATO also does not accept claims for any parking or travel costs you may have incurred while you were buying your COVID-19 test.
It isn’t just COVID-19 tests that you can claim in this year’s tax lodgement. You can claim any personal protective equipment (PPE) that you need to purchase for work. That may include things like hardhats and helmets, safety glasses and goggles, earplugs or earmuffs, gloves, sanitiser and anti-bacterial spray.
You may also be able to claim face masks if your employer requires you to be at your place of employment but don’t provide them at work.
You can only claim other PPE if your employment sees you come into close contact with clients or customers or if you clean a premises.