Can I depreciate assets?

Depreciating Assets

You can deduct the decline in value of depreciating assets, which are capital assets you either acquired when you purchased your property or subsequently purchased for your property. Generally speaking, these assets must be used in gaining or producing your assessable income.


Depreciating assets have a limited lifespan and are expected to decline in value over time. Furniture, stoves, washing machines, and TVs are all examples of depreciating assets. This deduction is particularly applicable to owners of residential rental properties.


Generally, you deduct the decline in value of depreciating assets over a number of years. However, in certain circumstances, the decline in value may be immediately deductible. In order for this to be the case, the asset must:

  • Cost less than $300
  • Be used mainly to produce assessable income (that is not income from carrying on a business)
  • Not be a part of a set of assets that together cost more than $300 or not one of a number of identical items that together cost more than $300

What if I did not get a tax file number?

In order to lodge a tax return, you must have a tax file number, also referred to as a TFN.

If you have one already, you can find it listed on your payment summary. However, if you don’t have a TFN, you’ll have to apply for one through the ATO.
You need these VALID documents to apply for a tax file number online:

  • Permanent migrant visa
  • Visa with work rights
  • Overseas student visa
  • Visa allowing you to stay in Australia indefinitely

Alternatively, you can complete your application for a Tax file number using paper from NAT 1432 – application or inquiry for individuals – and mail it to the ATO along with the all the necessary documents that prove your identity.

Am I taxed differently than Australian residents?

Yes, you are if you lodge as a nonresident.

As a nonresident, from July of 2012, you are subject to tax on 32 1/2 cents or roughly a third of every dollar you earn. This goes up to $80,000.

In addition, you cannot take advantage of the tax-free threshold of $18,200. Australian residents pay no tax on the first year of their income up to $18,200, and you are not eligible for any of the tax offsets Australians benefit from.

However, unlike Australian residents, you do not pay the Medicare levy and are not subject to tax on any foreign income you may receive while in Australia.

What happened to the Education Tax Refund?

Education Tax Refund

The Education Tax Refund was an offset that allowed you to claim up to 50% of your children’s educational expenses.


Schoolkids Bonus

In 2012, however, the ETR was discontinued, to be replaced by the new Schoolkids Bonus starting in January 2013. The Schoolkids Bonus which stopped in 2016, was administered through the Department of Human Services, which means that you do not need to claim it on your tax return.


ETR Payments

For 2011, transitional arrangements were made through the Department of Human Services. In June all eligible Australians should have received an ETR payment through Centrelink.

If you are filing taxes for a prior year you can still claim the Education Tax Refund on your return the old way. You could receive up to $397 for every child in primary school and up to $794 for every child in secondary school.

In order to claim the refund, you must have saved receipts as proof of your children’s educational expenses. Without receipts, you cannot claim any money.

Deductions – Umpires and Referees

Umpires and referees officiate at sporting events, games, or competitions to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed and followed.


Umpires and Referee Expenses:
  • Dues and subscriptions
  • Uniforms
  • Cleaning and maintaining uniforms
  • Shin guards, chest protectors, steel-toed shoes
  • Whistles
  • Flags
  • Clipboards
  • Whiteboards
  • Traveling from one sports event to another