Ask LH: Can I Claim An Ergonomic Keyboard As A Tax Deduction?

Dear LH, I read your article about split keyboards and I want to get one for work. However, they aren’t cheap and my workplace doesn’t seem interested in getting one for me. Is there any way I can claim part or all of its cost back on tax? Thanks, Painful Typo

Dear PT,

First, we’ll point out that, as with any tax issue, you should seek advice from a professional if you want very specific advice. That said, let’s check out what the Australian Taxation Office has to say about deductions generally:

. As a rule of thumb, if you need to spend money to earn income, you can usually claim it — either as an immediate deduction or over time.

There is also a specific proviso for deducting costs associated with maintaining a home office. Costs under $300 can be deducted immediately, and a keyboard would probably fit in this category.

So if you need a keyboard to do your job, then you should be able to claim it as an expense and lower your taxable income. If you are experiencing ergonomic issues in the workplace, though, you should definitely raise it with your employer — providing the right gear is generally much cheaper than paying for physiotherapy after the fact!

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