Australians at risk of missing out on estimated $1.1B in eligible working from home deductions

Australians at risk of missing out on estimated $1.1B in eligible working from home deductions

Australia’s first tax refund maximiser app, TaxFox, launches to help Australia’s 14.3 million taxpayers get savvy with their tax refunds in the shift to flexible working.

TaxFox, a new Australian-based personal finance app that helps users maximise tax refunds, has revealed Australians are at risk of missing out on an estimated $1.1B in working from home deductions this year (on top of the reported $10B in unclaimed expenses on a normal year) in the big shift to remote arrangements. The app, which officially launched in July, is the first platform in the Australian market dedicated to helping individuals maximise their refunds, with the ability to record expenses, store receipts, log working from home hours, and calculate tax refund estimates in real-time as users add new deductions.

Unlike other tax tools, TaxFox shows users how much they are claiming in comparison to their industry peers with tailored insights on common occupation deductions, average amounts claimed on these deductions, average incomes for their postcode and more, to ensure every possible cent is claimed.

Maz Zaman, co-founder and CEO of TaxFox said on average Australians were claiming $2,576 in deductions each tax season pre-COVID, but this figure was predicted to grow this year due to more people claiming working from home expenses. 

“Nearly half of Australian workers have worked from home this year, many of whom will have spent money on setting up home offices and managing ongoing expenses such as internet and electricity. There’s a lot of different, and some less obvious, expenses in these new working conditions that Australians can claim on. However, to claim on a lot of these deductions, accurate records and logs are required by the ATO, which many people will not have on file,” said Mr Zaman.

“Currently, there are no full solution platforms on the market to help individuals track, log, manage and maximise their refunds in real-time. TaxFox is the first app dedicated to managing all of these steps in one place so that when it comes to lodging, everything is prepared and ready to go well in-advance. It gives users full control over their tax returns and sets them up for the highest refund possible, and quickly,” he concluded.

TaxFox is developing applied machine learning to give users smart suggestions and personalised tips for their claims. The app uses historical taxpayer claims data to help users find more tax deduction opportunities as well as warn of potential audits if they are claiming more than the average. It also looks at anonymised TaxFox user data and ATO demographic data to give users tips on deductions compared with others in similar occupations and industry. 

For example, on the TaxFox dashboard, users can find tailored insights on regular expenses claimed for their current occupation, as well as total average refunds for their industries. In Australia, the highest claiming occupations for deductions (on average) nationally are:

  1. Surgeon: $17,729

  2. Anaesthetist: $16,678

  3. Internal medicine specialist: $15,155

  4. Other medical practitioners: $13,401

  5. Legislator: $12,821

  6. Psychiatrist: $11,483

  7. General medical practitioner: $9,101

  8. Air transport professionals: $8,660

  9. Land economist or valuer: $8,625

  10. Dental practitioner: $8,551

It also details common deductions for working from home, including some lesser known ones such as plants, anti-glare reading glasses for looking at computer screens, and various home office consumables such as printer ink. 

TaxFox keeps a user’s data organised and easy to navigate so that when it comes to tax time, all of a user’s information and receipts can be easily exported for lodging and for any potential follow ups with ATO audits. The smart app is also in the process of developing  automatic categorisation of receipts and smart links for bank account transactions, matching transactions with receipts. This feature will automatically check a user’s receipts and suggest whether it is deductible or not. 

The TaxFox app is available on iOS and Android on a free version (which limits receipt uploads to 12 per year) or premium plans at an affordable annual fee of only $47.99 (~$4 /mo). In particular, it will help the more than four million Australians who self-lodge every year, and who are at greater risk of missing out on eligible deductions. 

In addition to the consumer app, TaxFox also offers an Accountant’s Portal, a web-based solution to help Australian accountants operate a more efficient and profitable business by providing their clients with superior customer service. It gives them the ability to digitally send and receive tax information, streamline business workflows with different bookkeeping softwares, send push notifications to clients via the app for information requests, and keep audit trails within the TaxFox system. 

Founded in 2019 by Maz Zaman and Sri Seshadri, TaxFox aims to become a household name for Australians taxpayers, becoming the smarter way to do tax.