Your Personal Windows License May Be Tax Deductible

The Austalian Tax Office’s excellent e-Tax software, available now for the PC platform for about ten years or so, is still not available for that ever increasing group in the population that chooses to use a platform other than Windows, Computerworld Australia reported earlier this week.

In that article, James Hutchinson mentioned that the ATO was suggesting that those users not working with a supported (ie Microsoft Windows) operating system but wishing to use the e-Tax system should install Windows on either a virtual machine, or use a utility like Boot Camp, and run Windows within that environment.

Of course, in order to do that, and regardless of whether they’re using a VM or Boot Camp, each user would need to go out and purchase a license for that Windows installation. Further, if a Mac user was to use VMWare’s Fusion, a further license cost would need to be incurred in the purchase of that software too.

Which raises the question: if that is your only need for those pieces of software, shouldn’t your purchase cost, for those licenses, be tax deductible?

My enquiries with the ATO basically confirmed this position. If your only use of the Windows license is to enable you to run Windows in order for you to complete your e-Tax return, then the cost of your license may be fully deductible.

If you were going to to use your Windows license for other purposes, then the cost would need to be apportioned.

Please note that this is not tax advice. You are advised to seek the help of a professional tax consultant in order to determine your own personal situation.