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The professions clawing the most back at tax-time

tax-time, professionals

New analysis of tax data has revealed the professions claiming the most deductions, and accountants don’t even make the top three.

According to Etax.com.au’s analysis of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data, surgeons are claiming the most tax deductions by far, with teachers rounding out the top 10.

“One reason for this is that surgeons generally aren’t reimbursed for any of their many, many expenses by their employer,” senior tax agent Liz Russell said.

“This means all those expenses can generally be claimed on their return instead.”


Real estate agents, the second-biggest claimers, asked for an average deduction of $8,616 – significantly less than surgeons’ $21,184.

Ms Russell said real estate agents’ reasons for claims were similar to surgeons; work-related expenses that go unpaid.

“This includes the financial demands of their work, such as car maintenance, licencing fees and incidental out of pocket costs, that are all deductible,” she said.

The tax agent added that all occupations have their own rules, with no guarantees as to a minimum refund.

As such, deductions come down to awareness of individual eligibility and good record-keeping.

“Smart workers are the ones who have a good system for recording expenses and they use a tax agent to get all that added the right way to their tax return. Any expenses that are truly work-related and necessary can be claimed as a tax deduction. It’s important to seek guidance on what is relevant to your specific industry, role and income,” Ms Russell said.

However, she added that it’s critical workers don’t try to get “creative” with claims, as an ATO examination can be painful for those who haven’t kept good records.

Who’s claiming the most?

Occupation Average deduction claim
Surgeons $21,184
Real estate agents $8,616

$6,861 but heavily skewed by high income earners

Up to $180k avg = $3,411

Over $180k avg = $10,901

Truck drivers $5,058
Tradies $4,998
Farmers $4,450
Engineers $4,177
Vets $3,468
Accountants $3,169
Teachers $3,172
The professions clawing the most back at tax-time
tax-time, professionals
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