• Airline employees

    Other work-related expenses

    Did you have any other expenses relating to your work as an employee?

    Here is a list of other expenses commonly incurred by airline employees. For more information about the deductibility of these expenses, see question D5 in Individual tax return instructions.

    Capital allowances

    You can claim a deduction for depreciating assets you purchase and use for work. The deduction you can claim is worked out on the effective life of the equipment and the decline in value of equipment over the time it is used for work. If you also use the equipment for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the decline in value.

    See also:

    You cannot claim a deduction if the equipment is supplied by your employer or any other person.

    You may be able to claim a capital allowance for the following equipment:

    • answering machines, telephones, facsimile machines, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunications equipment
    • calculators and electronic organisers
    • luggage and luggage trolleys, if you are a flight attendant, pilot or flight engineer and use them for work
    • tools and equipment
    • a professional library.

    Low-value pool

    You also have the option to pool equipment costing less than $1,000 and equipment written down to less than $1,000 under the diminishing value method. You work out a deduction for the decline in value of equipment in this low-value pool by a single calculation using set rates.

    For more information on claiming a deduction for a low-value pool, see question D6 in Individual tax return instructions and make your claim at item D6 on your tax return.

    Equipment costing $300 or less

    You can claim an immediate deduction for equipment you purchase and use for work costing $300 or less.

    You cannot claim an immediate deduction if:

    • the equipment is part of a set that you buy in the same income year and the total cost of the set is more than $300 (the set rule), or
    • the equipment is one of a number of identical or substantially identical items you buy in an income year and the total cost of the items is more than $300 (the multiples rule).

    Cash or bar shortages

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of making up cash or bar shortages.

    Glasses and contact lenses

    Pilots and flight engineers can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses used to combat the harsh working conditions inside a cockpit. Other airline employees may claim the cost of protective sunglasses. This is in circumstances that they are required to work outdoors and are exposed to the risk of eye damage from exposure to sunlight. See Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens.

    Grooming including hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products

    You cannot claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though you may be paid an allowance for grooming and be expected to be well groomed. All grooming products are private expenses.

    Insurance of tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of insuring your tools and equipment to the extent that you use them for work.

    Interest costs

    You can claim the cost of interest on money borrowed to purchase work-related equipment. If the equipment was also used for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the interest.

    Licences

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your work-related business licences but not your driver licence. You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of getting your initial licence.

    Meals

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of meals eaten during a normal working day as it is a private expense, even if you receive an allowance to cover the meal expense. For information about claiming deductions for the cost of meals eaten during overtime, see Overtime meals.

    Medical examinations for licence renewal

    You can claim a deduction for medical examination costs associated with the renewal of your work-related business licences.

    Moisturisers and hair conditioners

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of rehydrating moisturisers and rehydrating hair conditioners used to combat the abnormal drying of skin and hair when working in the pressurised environment of an aircraft, where it is of critical importance to your employer that you maintain a well-groomed and well-presented image.

    Only the work-related portion of the amount spent on such items for work purposes is deductible.

    Airline check-in counter employees who are also required to be well-groomed cannot claim a deduction for moisturisers and hair conditioners as their working conditions are not considered to be harsh or abnormal.

    Overtime meals

    An amount for overtime meals that is part of your normal salary and wage income is taxed as part of your income. It is not an 'overtime meal allowance'.

    You must include amounts you received as overtime meal allowance at item 2 on your tax return.

    You can claim for overtime meal expenses only on those occasions when:

    • you worked overtime
    • your employer paid you an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement.

    You will need written evidence if your claim per meal is more than the reasonable rate stated in:

    If you received an award overtime meal allowance which is not shown on a payment summary, you may choose not to include the allowance as income at item 2 on your tax return and not claim a deduction, as long as:

    • the allowance does not exceed the Commissioner’s reasonable amounts
    • you have fully spent it on deductible expenses.

    Repairs

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of repairing tools and equipment for work. If you also used the tools or equipment for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the repair cost.

    Salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance

    You can claim a deduction for the premium paid for salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance if a benefit paid under a policy is assessable income.

    Stationery

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of street directories, logbooks, diaries, pens and other stationery to the extent that you use them for work.

    Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if the nature of your work requires you to work in the sun for all or part of the day and you use these items to protect yourself from the sun while at work (for example, you work on the tarmac at an airfield servicing, refuelling or loading aircraft).

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have a content specifically related to your employment as an airline employee.

    Telephone calls, telephone rental and connection costs

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of work-related telephone calls.

    You can claim a deduction for your telephone rental if you can show that you are on call or are regularly required to telephone your employer while you are away from your workplace. If you also use your telephone for private purposes, you must apportion the cost of telephone rental between work-related and private use.

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of connecting a telephone, mobile phone, pager or any other telecommunications equipment as it is a capital expense.

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of an unlisted telephone number (silent number) as it is a private expense.

    Timepieces and watches

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying or maintaining timepieces as this is a private expense.

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees. If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary, you can use it to prove your claim. You can claim a deduction for a levy paid in certain circumstances – for example, to protect the interests of members and their jobs.

    You cannot claim a deduction for:

    • joining fees, or
    • levies or other amounts you paid to assist families of employees suffering financial difficulties as a result of employees being on strike or having been laid off.
    Last modified: 26 May 2016QC 48189