How To Claim Mobile Phone Calls On Your Tax Return [Infographic]

How To Claim Mobile Phone Calls On Your Tax Return [Infographic]
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If you use your mobile phone for work, it’s possible to claim a portion of your personal phone bills as a tax deduction. However, you also need to ensure it passes the tax man’s sniff test. Here’s how to claim your calls and data in three quick steps.

The Australian Taxation Office takes a dim view of dodgy deductions. One area it always checks is phone-related expenses – and new comparison tools make it easier than ever to identify anomalies in your return. In other words, it pays to do a proper calculation instead of a half-arsed estimation.

The infographic below comes from the number-crunchers at eTax Accountants. It shows how you can claim the highest amount possible while still being able to prove your expenses in the event of an audit. (Remember, if your employer is already reimbursing you for work-related phone calls, you can’t "double dip" with a claim of your own.)

The ATO has yet to make a specific ruling on claiming mobile data as a tax deduction. However, given that your plan likely lumps calls, data and text together, this shouldn't make any difference. (Unfortunately, excess data fees cannot be claimed as a tax deduction.)

[Via eTax Accountants]

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • All my work communications is done via email and skype – calls or messaging. How are you meant to calculate that? Optus doesn’t give me a fine grained enough data breakdown to figure that out.

    • I agree, my pocket device is used for taking pictures, Skype, directions, email, internet, instant messages and right down the bottom of the list is phone calls (all for work purposes). This info graphic would have helped 10 years ago.
      Also how do we calculate when we are on a plan? ALL my calls are included in my plan, and I also have a handset repayment on top.

  • Echo the previous statements, I don’t use my phone as a phone for work, but I certainly use it for work purposes with email, remote access, web usage, data sharing, etc. I’d like to know what I can claim back for that side of things and my mobile repayments in the plan.

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