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What Tax Deductions Can I Claim Without a Receipt?

So, you’ve made it to tax time and you’re all excited to start your tax return and boost your tax refund with as many individual tax deductions in Australia as you can. Yes! But what if you can’t find your receipts? What can you claim without a receipt? Let’s get to work. 

We just need to look for those receipts. But, uhh, where are the receipts? Did you remember to get a receipt with all of the tax deductible expenses you paid for through the year? 

Perhaps not, but don’t worry! There are a few things you can do, and should be aware of, that will let you maximise your tax refund! So before you start frantically pulling the house apart and awkwardly contacting your suppliers, sit back, grab a coffee, and read everything you need to know below. 

What Is Allowed For ATO Deductions?

You are only allowed to claim back on tax your work related expenses. Any expenses you spend on yourself and your work are a tricky grey area, and you should consult a tax professional, or look at a tax deductions list here.  However, there are generally four rules of thumb that make a work related expense tax deductible. They include: 

  1. Must have spent it on your work
  2. Paid for it yourself
  3. Can’t have been reimbursed for the expense 
  4. Must have evidence to prove that you paid for it

Even though these are a rule of thumb, there are still certain things you can claim without a receipt, as well as things you can do to prove your purchase. Keep reading below to find out more. 

How Much Can You Claim Without Evidence or a Receipt?

If you’ve lost your receipts for work related expenses, the ATO lets you deduct up to $300 without a receipt. This might sound like a fantastic deal, however you are more than likely entitled to more than $300 of deductions. 

Don’t settle for just $300 worth, claiming everything you can will significantly boost your tax refund. That is why you should always keep your receipts. 

Even though you’re allowed to claim up to $300 without a receipt, you should be prepared to answer any questions the ATO may have for you. The easiest way to alleviate this stress is to just get a tax professional to do it for you. 

Other Deductions You Might Not Need A Receipt For

On top of the $300 the ATO allows you to claim as a tax deduction without a receipt, there are a few things you can claim that are calculated on a base rate, so you don’t need a receipt either. The things you can claim include: 

  1. Car Expenses WITH a Logbook 

If you are entitled to claiming your car expense as a tax deduction (check here), you can prove your tax deductions with a logbook. By doing this, you can claim work related travel expenses without a receipt. If you can prove to the ATO how many kilometres you have travelled for work, you can claim your expenses at a nominal rate per kilometre. The rate you are given depends on the size of your car. 

  1. Car Expenses WITHOUT a Logbook 

Even without a logbook, you are still in luck. But you do still need to be able to show how you calculated the number of kilometres you’re claiming. By calculating how many kilometres you have driven, you can claim your expense at a set rate. This set rate is usually 72 cents per work kilometre you drive. How many kilometres can you claim without a receipt? For an accurate estimate, you should get the help of a tax accountant. 

  1. Home Office Expenses 

There are a few ways you can calculate your home office expense as a tax deduction. All you need to do is keep a record of how many hours you have worked from home (or check your payslips). Check with an accountant for the best estimate. 

Options If You’ve Lost Your Receipt 

The ATO understands that keeping a physical copy of every receipt you collect can be difficult. If you’ve lost your receipt, or it has faded and you can no longer read it, there are few things you can do to prove your tax deductions. These things include: 

  1. Bank Statements

You might be wondering, can I use bank statements as receipts for tax in Australia? If you have a bank statement that clearly shows what the purchase was and you are able to prove that the purchase was made for a work reason, the ATO will allow you to claim it without a receipt. Having the bank statement along with a photo of the purchase with a matching price on it increases the chances of the ATO accepting your claim. 

One Click Life have launched its Simple Accounting Manager (SAM) to help Australians get the best tax refund this tax time. SAM that allows you to automatically search for tax deductible transactions in your bank statement. This will make your life a whole lot easier. For more information on how it works, click here. 

Introducing SAM (Simple Accounting Manager) – the new team member at One Click Life
  1. Get An Accountant To Check Your Income Statement 

Accountants, as you’d imagine, are very rehearsed and know what is allowable for tax deductions. Things in your income statement, such as union fees, may be tax deductible. Contact the accounting team at One Click Life to find out what you can claim. 

  1. Check Your Online Account Or Ask The Retailer For Another Receipt 

With most e-commerce websites, you have to make an account to make a purchase with them. This is especially true if it was an expensive purchase. In most cases your online account will have a record of your previous purchases, which you can use as your receipt. 

If you did not buy off an e-commerce site, you can ask the retailer if they still have a record of your receipt. They may be able to provide you with a receipt, and if they can’t, there is no harm in asking. 

Proof And Explanations The ATO Does Not Allow

There are a few things the ATO will flatly refuse as evidence without a receipt. These things include: 

  1. “I Paid In Cash” 

When you tell the ATO you don’t have a receipt because you paid in cash, if they could laugh at you, they would. Even if you pay someone in cash, you should still collect a receipt. 

  1. You Only Have A Photo Of The Item 

If you give the ATO a photo of the item and only a photo of the item, it doesn’t prove enough. The photo does not prove who the item belongs to, if you bought it, how much it cost, and more. 

If you give them a photo of the item, try and include a bank statement as well as how much it cost. 

  1. The Advertised Price 

Even if you show the advertised price of an item, whether that be by website or catalogue, it shows no evidence just like the issue above. 

Pairing this with a bank statement however can bolster your argument to the ATO. 

What Happens If The ATO Deems You Have Not Provided Enough Evidence and How To Avoid It 

If the ATO decides that the evidence you have provided is not sufficient, and the amount you have claimed as a tax deduction is too great, you will have to pay back the tax to the ATO. Additionally, the ATO may issue you with a large fine if they decide that your claims were intentionally false. 

So how do you avoid that? If you are asking; “what can I claim on tax in 2021”? You should definitely be using a tax professional. 
One Click Life offers you a platform for you to lodge tax returns online with no trouble at all, so you can get back to doing the things you love. Our team of financial accounting professionals will definitely maximise your tax return. When it comes to online tax returns in Australia, there is no better option. For more frequently asked questions, come visit our website.