It's tax time.
Over the coming weeks and months, millions of Australians will lodge their tax return; and many of them will reap the rewards. Thanks to another year of COVID-19 and working from home, there's a lot you can claim for the 2021-22 financial year.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will begin processing this year's tax returns on July 7, with the first refunds expected to hit back accounts on July 16. Yep, they are aiming to finalise all electronically lodged tax returns in just 12 business days.
But before you rush to lodge yours, there are some things you may need to be aware of.
Here's exactly what you can and can't claim on your 2021-22 tax return.
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What COVID payments can I claim on my tax return?
Although life has seemingly gone back to normal, COVID-19 is still here and has affected all of us over the past 12 months.
There's one COVID payment you can claim, and another you cannot.
This year, if you received a COVID-19 disaster payment because of state or territory health orders preventing you from working at your usual place of employment, know that money is exempt from income tax and you don't need to include it in your tax return.
But if you received a pandemic leave disaster payment because you had to self-isolate or care for someone with COVID, you must include it in your tax return as income.
Can I claim rapid antigen tests?
Have you spent some of your hard-earned cash on rapid antigen tests over the past 12 months? We definitely have.
There's only one instance where you can claim them.
"The ATO has said that potentially you can claim your RATs, but they have to be a requirement of your job," financial expert Melissa Browne told Mamamia's The Quicky.
"So, if you have to show a negative test before you can front up for work, you can claim the cost.
"But if you picked up a bulk lot for $200 and you're thinking was you'll have them just in case and use some for work and some for personal, then you just need to portion it," she said.
Melissa added that you have to have paid for them yourself.
What about masks?
Unlike rapid antigen tests, you can claim masks - and other protective gear including hand sanitiser, PPE gear and gloves - without it being a requirement of your job.
"If you're spending your work day in really close proximity to customers and you're at risk of contracting COVID, you may be able to claim a deduction for those," Melissa said.