The Australian Tax Office (ATO) mandates that you save receipts of all costs that you want to claim in your tax return. But what if you still need to get all the receipts? Can you claim a tax deduction without receipts? This blog is dedicated to understanding it and more. 

The ATO allows you to claim expenses with no receipt in some cases; however, this process is getting risky with the ATO becoming more strict now. If you want to get a guaranteed tax refund, save the receipts. After all, it’s the extra money you spend out of your pocket to earn a living.

However, in cases that you lose your receipt or it faded enough to become unreadable, here is the ATO preferred reason for claiming taxes — First, the expense must be “allowable.” This means that you should be able to answer yes to the following questions.

Is it directly related to and needed for your occupation?Did you pay for it yourself?Were you not reimbursed or received payment for it from your own business/employer (or anyone else)?

If your answer to the above questions is yes, then you can claim the deduction by showing a credit card statement or bank statement showing transactions for the item(s) you purchased or services you used. Be aware that the ATO is at its discretion to allow for such deductions. They may even disallow such deductions.

What Deductions Can The ATO Allow Without a Receipt?

Membership Fees or Union Fees

These transactions are generally itemised on your PAYG summary, income statement, or another summary you get from your finance department or tax agent. These documents are good proof to collect deductions under membership or union fees.

Fuel or Petrol

Keep a proper driving log for at least 12 consecutive weeks (over five years), in addition to the average cost of petrol and the car size. You can use the work-related kilometres you’ve travelled to include a petrol deduction on your return. Your tax agent can help you understand this and plan it as well.

Fuel or Petrol Without a Logbook

Even if you haven’t kept a car logbook for at least 12 consecutive weeks, you can still claim a tax deduction if you demonstrate how you calculate the number of kilometres you’re claiming. The ATO will allow a claim of a maximum of 72 cents per kilometre up to 5,000 km.

Computer Items

You can claim tax deductions on the computer items you purchase, for example, a laptop bought for your home office. Make sure you have a credit/debit card statement to prove.

Stationery Items

You can claim deductions on the stationary items you buy for work purposes. Make sure to submit your credit card statement. You can claim deductions on pens, calculators, papers, etc.

What Does The ATO Reject Without a Receipt?

Even though the Australian Tax Office allows claiming some tax deductions without a receipt, there are instances when it would only budge if you have a receipt for a work-related tax deduction. These instances include:

Paying in Cash

Even if you paid an expense in cash, the ATO would still require a receipt for the transaction. They would not allow you to get a deduction on cash transactions.

Having an Item With a Price Tag

The ATO has seen all kinds of people. Trying to claim a tax by showing an item with a price tag attached does not make you the product owner. The ATO will disallow the transaction.

Showing a Catalogue or Advertisement

A catalogue or advertisement is no proof that you purchased the said item. The ATO requires evidence of a transaction to give a deduction.

How Much Can You Claim Without Receipts?

The ATO generally permits a deduction of up to $300 for work-related purchases without receipts. You can claim more than $300 if you have receipts of the purchase you made or services you subscribed for your work.

However, the ATO is getting strict on its “no proof-no claim policy.” And when it comes to deductions without a receipt, it’s your words against the ATOs. So make sure you have your receipts handy throughout the year.

To Sum It Up

If you want to claim deductions without a receipt, the process can be tricky, and you can’t be 100% sure if you will get the deduction. Save yourself some time and frustration by keeping your receipts in a safe place. Take help from a skilled tax expert to learn how to gain more deductions on your tax returns