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What can I claim without receipts?

Let’s be real about things, we all forget to hold on to our receipts. So, is there anything we can claim without receipts?

Thankfully, the ATO has determined that work-related deductions (excluding car expenses, meal allowance, award transport payments allowance, or travel allowance expenses) totaling up to $300 can be claimed without receipts. However, there are a few limitations. From now on, in this article, when the phrase “work-related deductions” or “work-related expenses” is used, it refers to work-related deductions excluding car expenses, meal allowance, award transport payments allowance, or travel allowance expenses.

First of all, the expense must be allowable – this is also the case if you do have receipts. It has to be directly related to earning your income, and you must have paid for it yourself and not been reimbursed or paid back by anyone for it. If you have been reimbursed or paid back, and you still want to claim it, you will have to include the reimbursement under your income, so effectively they cancel each other out.

You also must have actually incurred the expense – you can’t just make a deduction of $300 for the sake of it. In case the ATO questions it, you must be able to back up your claim and be ready to explain what the expense was for, how you paid for it, and how it’s related to your work.

If you claim laundry of $150 or less, this is not part of the $300 claimable without receipts. However, if the laundry claim is more than $150, you will need to provide substantiation for your laundry expense if the total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300. That means that if you claim laundry more than $150, and your total work-related expenses do not exceed $300, you don’t need to provide substantiation for the laundry expense (to learn more about laundry expense, visit our recent post here.

If you incur more than $300 worth of work-related expenses, all expenses must be able to be substantiated. You can’t claim $300 worth without receipts and then claim an additional amount which you have substantiation for.

The ATO has created a tool in the ATO app called myDeductions. This is a handy way to keep records or expenses in one place, where you can upload records and attach photos of receipts so that you don’t have to keep the physical copies (remember to make sure the photo shows the name or business name of the supplier, the amount of the expense, the currency it was incurred, the nature of the goods and services, the day the expense was incurred and the date of the receipt). You can also easily share this with us come tax time. To find out more, visit the ATO website!

So can you claim without receipts? Most of the time, yes – just don’t forget the limitations!