Sunscreen Tax Deductions

As an Australian taxpayer, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that certain sun protection items can be tax deductible. In a country known for its sunny climate, it’s crucial to take care of your skin, especially if your work requires prolonged periods outdoors. This article will guide you through the ins and outs of claiming a sunscreen tax deduction and provide valuable information for Australian taxpayers.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows deductions for the cost of sunscreen and sunhats if your work exposes you to the sun for extended periods and you wear them to protect yourself while on the job. So, if you work in occupations such as piloting, building, landscaping, or outdoor recreation, you could potentially benefit from these deductions.

When it comes to sunscreen, it’s important to choose products that are safe and effective. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) grants an Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods identification (ARTG ID) number to sunscreens that meet the necessary standards. This number, displayed as an AUST L number on the product, assures consumers that the sunscreen is legitimate and can be accepted for tax deductions. Remember, the AUST L number is different from the SPF number, which indicates the level of sun protection.

    What is the AUST L number?

    The AUST L number is an identification number assigned to sunscreen products in Australia. It stands for Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) listing number. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is responsible for regulating and approving therapeutic goods, including sunscreens, in Australia.

    To ensure the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products, the TGA grants an ARTG ID number, which is displayed as the AUST L number on the product label. This number indicates that the sunscreen has met the required standards and has been registered with the TGA.

    The AUST L number serves as a reassurance to consumers that the sunscreen product they are purchasing has been tested and approved for use as a sun protection measure. When it comes to claiming a tax deduction for sunscreen expenses, the ATO requires that the sunscreen product must have an AUST L number to be eligible.

    To confirm whether a sunscreen product has been given an ARTG ID, you can visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s website. It’s crucial to note that you cannot claim a deduction for a cosmetic product with added sunblock protection unless it also has an AUST L number.

    Apart from sunscreen, sunglasses are another essential sun protection item. If you regularly work outdoors and require sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays, you may be eligible to claim a deduction for them. However, it’s important to establish a genuine connection between the cost of sunglasses and your income-earning activities. The ATO considers significant exposure to sunlight, such as working outside all day or dealing with glare as a pilot, as valid reasons for claiming sunglasses as a work-related deduction.

    When claiming sunglasses, keep in mind that there is no limit on the cost. However, if your sunglasses cost more than $300, the ATO expects them to last longer than 12 months. In such cases, you will need to claim the depreciation of the glasses on your tax return over time, rather than the purchase price.

    Furthermore, the ATO allows tax deductions for hats and other headgear specifically designed for sun protection. So, if your occupation requires you to wear protective headgear outdoors, you may include the cost of these items in your tax deduction claims.

    It’s important to note that if you use sun protection items for both work and personal purposes, you must apportion the expenses accordingly. Keep records of your receipts and clearly separate work-related expenses from personal ones to simplify the process.

    To claim a sunscreen tax deduction or any other sun protection-related expenses, ensure you meet the ATO’s criteria:

    • You have personally incurred the expenses and haven’t been reimbursed by your employer.
    • The items are directly related to your work and are necessary to protect you from sun exposure.
    • Maintain proper records, including receipts, to substantiate your claims.

    While claiming a sunscreen tax deduction may not provide immediate financial relief, it can certainly contribute to reducing your taxable income and potentially increasing your tax refund. Just remember to consult with a tax professional or seek guidance from the ATO if you have any specific questions about your eligibility or the documentation required.

    Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is essential, and now you can do it while also benefiting from potential tax deductions. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you not only safeguard your health but also your financial well-being. Stay sun-safe and save on your taxes with the sunscreen tax deduction.

    This article is for general information only. It does not make recommendations nor does it provide advice to address your personal circumstances. To make an informed decision, always contact a registered tax professional.

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