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Genuine Student Test

New method called as Genuine Student Test has been announced by Department of Home Affairs for the recruitment of international students in Australia. This is believed to reform the delivery of quality education for those genuine students who intend to achieve academic excellence from Australian universities.

According to the previous regulations set by the Department of Home Affairs, international students seeking to study in Australia must fulfil the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement. This means that their intention to stay in Australia should be solely for the purpose of pursuing a high-quality tertiary education leading to a university degree, without any intention of prolonged residency.

In the new policy, international students will have the opportunity to express their desire to migrate to Australia during the student visa application process.

What actually is Genuine Student Test (GST) then?

The Genuine Student Test (GST) serves as a comprehensive assessment tool specifically crafted to ascertain the authenticity of individuals applying for student visas. Its primary objective is to minimize the occurrence of fraudulent activities within the student visa application process.

Through a rigorous examination of various aspects of the applicant’s background, including their educational history, financial circumstances, and intentions for studying in Australia, the GST aims to ensure that only genuine students who genuinely intend to pursue academic endeavours in the country are granted visas.

By implementing such a test, immigration authorities can enhance the integrity of the student visa system, promoting fairness and transparency while safeguarding the interests of both prospective students and the Australian education sector.

How does it differ from Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement?

Let’s dive into GTE first.

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement mandates that all student visa applicants demonstrate their intent to temporarily pursue quality education in Australia. This criterion does not aim to deter students who may seek permanent residency after acquiring skills needed by Australia. Applicants must furnish a 300-word personal statement addressing their circumstances and reasons for studying in Australia, alongside supporting documents. Generic statements lacking evidence hold little weight in the assessment.

The decision considers various factors outlined in Ministerial Direction 69, such as previous study, employment history, ties to home country, and economic situation. The GTE assessment ensures that the visa program serves its educational purpose and identifies applicants with genuine educational motives. Factors evaluated include reasons for not studying in the home country, ties supporting return after study, economic situation, and potential ties and intentions in Australia. Additionally, the relevance of the course, financial stability, and immigration history are assessed.

This new student visa application system revamp include measures enabling international students to indicate their migration intentions within their visa applications. Moreover, the Genuine Student Test will assess their English proficiency and dedication to studying in Australia.

When is Genuine Student Test (GST) going effective?

These forthcoming reforms, currently in progress, is expected to be implemented from March 2024, focusing on attracting highly skilled international students.

What are the motives behind Genuine Student Test (GST)?

The motives behind the Genuine Student Test (GST) are multifaceted and primarily aim to address several key objectives:

1. Fraud Prevention: One of the central motives behind implementing the GST is to mitigate the risk of fraudulent activities within the student visa application process. By scrutinizing the backgrounds and intentions of applicants, the GST helps identify and deter individuals who may seek to exploit the system for illegitimate purposes, such as gaining entry to Australia under false pretences.

2. Maintaining Program Integrity: Ensuring the integrity of the student visa program is crucial for upholding Australia’s reputation as a destination for high-quality education. The GST helps maintain program integrity by verifying that visa applicants are genuine students who are committed to pursuing legitimate educational opportunities in the country.

3. Protecting National Interests: The GST also serves to protect the interests of Australia by ensuring that the individuals granted student visas contribute positively to the country’s academic, cultural, and economic landscape. By admitting genuine students who are likely to abide by visa conditions and contribute to Australian society, the GST helps safeguard national interests.

4. Enhancing Immigration Control: As part of broader immigration control measures, the GST assists authorities in managing the inflow of international students into Australia. By accurately assessing the bona fides of visa applicants, immigration officials can make informed decisions about who is granted entry, thereby maintaining control over immigration flows and upholding national security interests.

Overall, the motives behind the GST reflect a commitment to upholding the integrity of Australia’s student visa program, safeguarding national interests, and ensuring that genuine students have access to educational opportunities in the country.

Is it going to be easier with Genuine Student Test (GST)?

The Genuine Student Test (GST) is not designed to make the process easier for applicants; rather, its purpose is to ensure the authenticity and legitimacy of individuals applying for student visas to Australia.

While the GST aims to streamline the visa application process by providing a standardized assessment framework, it may introduce additional requirements and scrutiny for applicants.

Applicants will need to provide comprehensive documentation and evidence to demonstrate their genuine intention to study in Australia and comply with visa conditions. This may include academic transcripts, financial statements, statements of purpose, and other supporting materials. The GST will assess various aspects of the applicant’s background, including their educational history, financial circumstances, and intentions for studying in Australia, to verify their bona fides.

While the GST aims to prevent fraud and maintain the integrity of the student visa program, it may result in increased scrutiny and potentially more stringent assessment criteria for applicants. Therefore, while the GST may streamline the process by providing a standardized framework, it may not necessarily make it easier for applicants, as they will still need to meet the established criteria and provide sufficient evidence to support their application.

How will international student benefit from this reformation?

The implementation of the Genuine Student Test (GST) can benefit international students in several ways:

1. Enhanced Credibility: By ensuring that only genuine students are granted visas, the GST helps maintain the credibility of international students studying in Australia. This can positively impact their reputation and recognition of their qualifications both within Australia and internationally.

2. Reduced Competition from Fraudulent Applicants: International students who genuinely intend to pursue education in Australia may face less competition from fraudulent applicants who attempt to misuse the visa system for illegitimate purposes. This can potentially increase the opportunities and resources available to genuine students.

3. Protection of Rights and Interests: Genuine students who comply with visa conditions and abide by Australian laws are better protected under the GST. They are less likely to encounter issues related to visa cancellations, exploitation, or legal challenges, thereby safeguarding their rights and interests while studying in Australia.

4. Access to High-Quality Education: By maintaining the integrity of the student visa program, the GST ensures that international students have access to high-quality education and academic resources in Australia. This can contribute to their personal and professional development and enhance their career prospects upon completion of their studies.

5. Strengthened International Reputation: Australia’s commitment to ensuring the authenticity and credibility of its student visa program through measures like the GST can strengthen its international reputation as a welcoming and reputable destination for education. This, in turn, can attract more high-calibre international students seeking quality education opportunities.

Overall, the implementation of the Genuine Student Test (GST) can provide international students with greater assurance, credibility, and access to quality education in Australia, ultimately enhancing their overall academic and personal experiences.


In conclusion, the Genuine Student Test (GST) serves as a critical component of Australia’s student visa application process, aimed at ensuring the authenticity and legitimacy of applicants. While the GST is not intended to make the process easier for applicants, its implementation is crucial for preventing fraud, maintaining program integrity, protecting national interests, and enhancing immigration control.

By scrutinizing various aspects of applicants’ backgrounds and intentions, the GST helps verify their genuine commitment to studying in Australia and contributes to safeguarding the integrity of the student visa program.

While the GST may introduce additional requirements and scrutiny for applicants, its standardized assessment framework provides a fair and transparent means of evaluating visa applications, ultimately supporting Australia’s reputation as a destination for high-quality education.

Medical Examination Fee Calculator

Medical Examination Fee in Australia 2024

Medical Examination Fee Calculator is designed to quickly assess the amount of fee needed for department prescribed tests. Medical examinations are necessary for almost all visa applicants in Australia. The questions “How much will be the medical fee?” arises in all applying for visa.

Visa Medical Tests in Australia are conducted by Bupa Medical Visa Services (BMVS) and they have specific price for each types. These price are subject to change as per BMVS. 

Below you may use the click and highlight functionality to check the total of medical tests you are requested. This may help you to analyse the amount you will spend with BMVS. Please be advised, as per the location you are attending, the expense amount may differ from what it is shown below. Always refer to official information for up to date fees. The below fee is updated as of Jan 2024.

Item Cost Table
Test Code Test Names Cost
501+ 502 Medical Exam and Chest X-ray $345.10
501 Medical Examination only $249.10
502 Chest X-ray only $128.70
707 HIV (Pathology as part of medical exam) $53.60
705 Serum Creatinine and eGFR $17.90
712 Syphilis (Pathology as part of medical exam) $44.00
708 Hepatitis B (Pathology as part of medical exam) $62.00
716 Hepatitis C (Pathology as part of medical exam) $62.00
719 TB Screening Test Interferon-Gamma Release Array (IGRA) $98.40
502+ 510 Paediatric Chest X-ray – 2 x Chest X-rays comprised of Posterior Anterior (PA) and Lateral view $133.80
509 Chest X-ray Lordotic view * $128.70
707 HIV Pathology (not part of a medical exam) $87.10
708 Hepatitis B Pathology (not part of a medical exam) $95.40
716 Hepatitis C Pathology (not part of a medical exam) $95.40
712 Syphilis Pathology (not part of a medical exam) $77.50
715 Liver Function Tests (LFTs) (supplementary testing) $32.60
720 Hepatitis C RNA (HEP C RNA) $173.90
N/A Hepatitis B DNA testing (supplementary testing) $231.60
Grand Total for your health assessment: $0.00

The correspondence you receive from the Department of Home Affairs will outline the mandatory assessments your visa necessitates. The charges differ based on the location you choose for your assessment. Please be aware that if additional tests are recommended by Bupa health professionals to finalize your examination, supplementary payments may be required.

To find out the nearest location BVMS provider is located, please use this official link. 

If you would like to check overall cost of student visa application, please use this link.

If you would like us to assist you for the combined service packages of visa application and all other processes including visa medical, pleae feel free to contact us.

Annual Cost of Living Calculator

calculator cost of living
Living Cost Calculator
Sources of First Year Expense Cost (tick as per your situation) Applicable number of applicants
Primary Applicant: $
Secondary Applicant (Aged 18+): $
Secondary Applicant (Aged 18-): $
Primary Applicant's First Year Course Fee: $
Travel Cost (one way to Australia): $
Health Insurance Fee (OSHC for whole duration): $

Total Living Cost:

Construction Visa Subsidy Program – Western Australia Government

The WA State Government is investing in programs to prepare locals for future jobs. They aim to keep skilled migrants in WA and attract workers from other places with skills needed by WA businesses. The Construction Visa Subsidy Program (CVSP) assists WA construction companies to meet the demand for skilled workers. The program gives grants up to $10,000 to help with skilled migration visas.

This covers costs like migration agent fees, visa applications, and moving expenses. Both WA employers (CVSP Employer Sponsored Stream) and skilled migrants (CVSP State Nominated Stream) might qualify for the CVSP.


Eligible employers have the opportunity to secure payments of up to $10,000 for each adept migrant, distributed over three distinct milestones.

  • Initial Stage – $2,000
  • Intermediate Stage – $4,000
  • Final Stage – $4,000


Skilled migrants seeking the program, and pursuing their visa application from overseas, shall be entitled to receive disbursements amounting to a maximum of $10,000, distributed across two pivotal milestones.

  • Milestone 1 – $5,000
  • Milestone 2 – $5,000


Skilled migrants eligible for the initiative, and who are already within Australia at the start of CVSP, shall be allocated diminished disbursements, reflective of the comparatively lower expenditures associated with onshore applicants.

  • Milestone 1 – $2,500
  • Milestone 2 – $2,500


Eligibility Criteria and Process Overview for Construction Visa Subsidy Program (CVSP):

  1. Employers must sponsor skilled migrants under visa subclasses 482, 494, or 186.
  2. Employers should be headquartered in Western Australia and involved in building and construction work within eligible occupations.



Single skilled migrant:

  1. Fill out the CVSP Employer Sponsored Stream – Milestone 1 – Claim Form.
  2. Accept the Construction Visa Subsidy Program Terms and Conditions.
  3. Declare your intent to sponsor a skilled migrant with the Department of Home Affairs.
  4. Submit the completed claim form.

Two to five skilled migrants:

  1. Agree to abide by the Construction Visa Subsidy Program.
  2. Declare your intent to sponsor skilled migrants with the Department of Home Affairs.
  3. Provide an outline of planned work, including sponsored occupation details.
  4. Submit the completed claim form.

Six or more skilled migrants:

  1. Agree to follow the Construction Visa Subsidy Program Terms and Conditions.
  2. Confirm your registration as a sponsor with the Department of Home Affairs.
  3. Present a business plan showcasing the need for skilled workers and their occupations.
  4. Describe onboarding and support plans for skilled migrants.
  5. Submit the completed claim form.

Step 1: Access Skilled Migrant Employment Register (SMER)

If you haven’t identified a skilled migrant to sponsor, register on the SMER. This helps you connect with skilled migrants seeking employment opportunities in WA, based on preferred occupation, location, and intentions. Consider involving a registered Migration Agent for visa assistance.

Step 2: Sponsorship Application

Apply as a sponsor through the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs, nominating an occupation and the skilled migrant you plan to sponsor.

Step 3: Visa Grant and Application

Collaborate with your skilled migrant and/or Migration Agent to choose an eligible visa. The nominated skilled migrant should then apply for the visa through the Department of Home Affairs ImmiAccount gateway service.

Step 4: Milestone 2 Payment

After the skilled migrant’s visa is granted, complete the ‘CVSP Employer Sponsored Stream – Milestone 2 – Claim Form to receive the second payment.

Step 5: Milestone 3 Payment

Once the skilled migrant begins employment and receives the initial payslip, fill out the ‘CVSP Employer Sponsored Stream – Milestone 3 – Claim Formto receive the final payment.

Salary requirement for SC191 applicants through SC491/SC494

The recent announcement made by the Department of Home Affairs brings forth favorable tidings.

Specifically, it pertains to individuals who had doubts regarding the salary requirement for the SC191 visa after residing in SC491 for a duration of three years.

It is important to note that the absence of the income threshold in the SC191 legislative instrument had already made the matter clear. Nevertheless, confusion arose due to the department’s message regarding the salary requirement on their website.

It is crucial to understand that the assessment of visa applications should be conducted according to the guidelines outlined in the legislative instrument, despite the information posted on the department’s website.

Without the department’s intervention, further confusion could have emerged in the future. However, they have taken the initiative to clarify the situation, providing a tremendous sense of relief to all, particularly those aspiring to obtain or currently holding the 491/494 visas.

Migration Agent in Darwin

Migration Consultancy in Darwin

Darwin of Northern Territory is the hubspot for international students to study, work and migrate. This place has numerous opportunities for migration purpose. Whether it be DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement), Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional Visa), Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) or Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa), NT has best to offer in terms of migration matters.

When it comes to the best migration agent in Darwin, there may not be an appropriate or specific answer to this. However, the reliability of migration agent in Darwin can be found through various ways. One of the best way to check the reliability of the agent is to check their visa success rate. There has been many evidences where visa holders were disappointed due to the lack of attention in visa application and those reason visa came with unexpected outcomes. It is also important to see if the agent has established their office in local area, for instance, Darwin. Their physical presence in Darwin helps local residents to reach out for help with ease and accessibility.

Most of the agents uses external Migration Agent that means they process the visa application but through second party or other migration agent/lawyer from other firm which complicates the situation. There are various disadvantages of using a third-party (external agent) in visa matters. Processing visa application may not always be hassled, however, it comes with multiple direction and confusion that will eventually built into complication in such a process.

The other disadvantages of processing an application is the cost. Since two parties are financially benefiting from one application, there might have been an expensive quote than the market price. At the end of the day, Migation Agent in Darwin is not that expensive if one goes out to the market for research on visa application service cost.

Migration Agents in Darwin is also responsible to keep updated of their application for nomination on visa subclasses 190 and 491. Lot of international students who have moved to Darwin for international studies eventually will come to know about the migration prospects in Darwin or Northern Territory as a whole. This term is also attached with the application processing body of Northern Territory Government (NTG), widely known as Migation NT.

Migration NT is responsible for handling of applications for visa application 190 and 491. Not only Skilled Visas, Migration NT is also responsible for DAMA.

There are various occupation widely accepted by Migration NT under migration program. These occupation listed on MLTSSOL is currently accepted, however changes can be seen frequently. One has to refer to the government official site for the confirmation on these applications. Visa Help has it’s own Migration Agent in-house. Visa 190 in Darwin and Visa 491 in Darwin has been a tremendous success for Visa Help Darwin team since opened. Visa Help claims itself to be the best migaration agent in darwin, NT because of the success it has on its’ application for various purpose.

Student Visa – Subclass 500

Student Visa in Australia is one of the popular visa subclasses amongst international resident intending to study overseas their home country. The government of Australia has made it available for eligible international resident with up to 5 years of stay in line with the offer of enrolment.

People having this visa subclass can participate full-time study in their eligible course of study in Australia.

Currently, there has not been any limitation on work hours, but the visa condition may imply the condition of maintaining maximum of 20 hours a week or 40 hours a fortnight in pro-rated basis.

There are few things you must do to keep the visa condition maintained as long as your visa condition has entitled you to do so.

  • be enrolled in a course of study in Australia
  • hold Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), or fall in one of the exemption categories
  • must be 6 years or older
  • prove you have a welfare arrangement from someone if you are under 18
  • have the visa uncancelled or hold a Confirmation of Study (CoE) without having a required gap during the visa.

Visa Cost

If there is no exemption or government offerings, currently this visa costs your Australian dollar $650.00 for the main applicant. Having a secondary applicant increase the cost accordingly.

To know how much you visa might cost you, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)’s Visa Pricing Estimator. If the information we provide on the website is outdated, this website will have a up to date information on everything including cost unless the website is up for maintenance.

Other costs involved in your visa may be the cost of biometrics, health checks, health insurance (widely known as OSHC), banking fees and police certificate. These costs vary from country to country and provider to provider.

Apart from these costs, managing your visa application may also incur the charge and it depends on how much your agent charges you. Not everyone can apply for your visa and to check the eligibility of you agent, please refer to this home affairs website.

Generally, your costs of student visa can be divided in below ways:

1.   Visa Fee (DHA fees) $710.00 Changes from time to time by DHA
2.   Insurance Fees Variable Variable from service provider to provider
3.   Health Check (Medical) Variable Variable from service provider to provider
4.   Biometrics Variable Variable from service provider to provider
5.   National Police Certificate Variable Variable from country to country
6.   Banking fees Variable Variable to applicant’s bank charges and rates
7.   Agent fees Variable Variable on applicant’s choice and agent
8.   Other miscellaneous charges Variable Other miscellaneous costs of creating the application

How to lodge an individual tax return

Lodging a tax settlement for the previous fiscal year might seem bit challenging, especially when you are aware that you are not getting a return, instead paying for it, but being prepared can make lodging your tax return a lot easier. Regardless of the amount of return or payment, you must lodge a tax settlement if you are staying in Australia as a taxpayer.


If you’re earning income, you may be able to claim some expenses related to your work and income in your tax return. You can check the ATO website for more information on tax-deductible expenses you can claim.


How to lodge your tax return

If you are an international resident in Australia, some of the information you’ll need to prepare your tax return is your:

  • Tax File Number (TFN),
  • Your BSB and account number,
  • Child’s support payments details, (only if you were eligible in certain visa subclasses)
  • Income Statement, (accessible from your ATO online services via myGov, or a payment summary provided by all your employers).
  • Summary of any interest earned from bank accounts,
  • Summary of investment income, such as shares, dividends, and managed funds,
  • Summary of benefit received from Centrelink,
  • Summary of benefit received from your superannuation company,
  • Medicare and Private health insurance statement,
  • Receipts for charity donations if you have made any in last fiscal year,
  • Receipts for work-related expenses,


Can I lodge my own tax return?

Yes, you can lodge your tax return directly with the ATO by yourself subjecting upon the access of required login information and ATO’s availability.

Or you can also get a registered tax agent to help you with your tax return. It can be helpful to get a tax agent to help with your tax return. They’ll charge you certain amount of fee which may be variable from one to another, but the amount you pay to lodge your tax return can be tax-deductible when you lodge the following year.

If you lodge your own tax return, you will need a myGov account first. The ATO website may state the processing time and we encourage you to check it if you are looking to find the duration. Electronic returns are normally processed within 2 weeks, but paper returns are processed manually, taking up to 10 weeks and this may change from time to time.

What happens once I lodge my tax return?

Once you complete you tax lodgement, you are generally provided with a Notice of Assessment (NoA). This let you know whether there is any due refund or payment (from/to) ATO. It’s very important to hold onto your NoA and the information you used to prepare your tax return. You may need this information in the future. We recommend you save it printed or on your email securely.

Have you found a mistake on the lodgement?

If you have found a mistake after the lodgement is completed, you’ll need to lodge an ‘amendment’ of your tax return. You can check the ATO’s website for information on amending your tax return. Your accountant, tax agent or financial advisor may also be able to help you with the process.


Things you should know

  • The Australian income year ends on 30 June. You are generally provided a time from 1 July of to 31 October of similar fiscal year to lodge your tax return for the previous income year. If you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return, you may be able to lodge later than 31 October.
  • Tax law is subject to change. For the latest information, check ATO’s website or with your accountant or financial advisor.
  • The information provided is of a general nature and doesn’t consider your personal financial situation – we suggest you seek independent taxation and financial advice. This page is intended to provide general information only and does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Taxation considerations are general and are purely based on current taxation laws and may be subject to change. The information provided on this page may not be valid and to ensure its’ validity, please come in touch with us or any Registered Tax Agent of Australia.
  • Visa Help Services is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 however we do partner with experienced Registered Tax Agent and provide seamless services in this process. You may seek tax advice from other registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on the information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.

Tax Deductions

1. Vehicle and travel expenses

While you generally can’t claim expenses for getting to and from your regular workplace, there are some work-related vehicle and travel expenses you may be able to claim.

These may include:

  • Where your work requires you to attend multiple workplaces or locations
  • Car expenses where you need your car to perform your work duties
  • Accommodation expenses when you’re required to travel for work

You can find out more about vehicle and travel expenses you can claim on the ATO website.

2. Home office expenses

There are certain criteria you should consider before you claim an amount for home office expenses in your tax return. These include:

  • Phone and Internet expenses
  • Electronic Devices consumables (e.g., printer paper and ink) and stationery
  • Home Office Equipment (e.g., computers, phones, printers, furniture, and furnishings) – you may be able to claim either:- The full cost of the items, if it’s less than $300; (check ATO’s guidelines for the amount) or
    – The decline in value (also known as depreciation) for items over $300.

Also, keep in mind your entitlement to claim a tax deduction for expenses will depend on your personal circumstances. You can find out more about deductions you can claim at the ATO website.

3. Clothing

If you bought occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing or work uniforms specifically related to your job, you may be able to claim these costs, as well as related cleaning costs, as work-related expenses such as uniforms. safety goggles and protective sunglasses. To claim these costs as tax deductions, you may need an invoice too. Check this out with your Registered Tax Agent. You can find out more about clothing, laundry, and dry-cleaning expenses you can claim at the ATO website.

4. Education

If your studies were work-related and you enrolled in an eligible course, you may be able to claim a tax deduction. Remember your current study that carries a CoE may not be eligible for that. If you would like to check whether you can claim for it find out more about self-education expenses at the ATO website.

5. Industry-related deductions

You may also claim tax deductions for work-related expenses specifically related to your occupation and industry. You can check the list of occupations and industries on the ATO website to see what industry-related tax deductions you can claim.

6. Investment Income

You may be able to claim investment income tax deductions if you’ve incurred:

  • Interest income expenses
  • Investment income expenses
  • Dividend and share income expenses
  • Rental and holiday home expenses
  • Forestry managed investment scheme deduction

If you’ve incurred any of these, you could be entitled to claim for costs related to this income. You may also be able to claim money you paid for investment advice.

You can find out more about interest, dividend and other investment income deductions you can claim at the ATO website.


7. Other Work-related expenses

There are other work-related expenses you may be able to claim as tax-deductible expenses, depending on your work and individual circumstances. Expenses to consider include:

  • Subscription fees to anything required by workplace
  • Overtime meals
  • Union fees, subscriptions to associations and bargaining agents’ fees
  • COVID-19 tests used for a work-related purpose

8. Gifts and Donations

If you gave a gift or donation to an organisation (e.g., your favourite charity), you may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, there are specific rules that apply. Generally, you can claim any donation you made above $2 if it was to a deductible gift recipient. For gifts, different rules apply depending on the type of gift. You can find out more about gifts and donations you can claim at the ATO website.

Once you’ve lodged your tax return, make sure you keep all your records of expenses. The ATO may ask you to provide evidence to support any claims you make. You can find out more about the tax deductions you can claim at the ATO website.