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  • Election expenses

    You can claim a deduction for expenses you incur as a candidate in contesting an election, provided the expense is the type you would incur to further your chances of being elected to a Parliament. This includes the candidate's costs to contest:

    • local government elections
      your deduction for local government body election expenses can't exceed $1,000 for each election contested, even if you incur the expense in more than one income year
    • state or territory elections
    • federal elections.

    In very restricted circumstances entertainment expenses qualify as deductible election expenses.

    If you claim a deduction for any election expense and you get a reimbursement, you must include the amount as income in your tax return.

    You can't claim a deduction for union election expenses if there is no continuity of office. Continuity of office only occurs when a union position is guaranteed without an election. You can't incur election or re-election expenses in performing union duties, so they are not deductible.

    For more information see, TR 1999/10 – Income tax and fringe benefits tax: Members of Parliament - allowances, reimbursements, donations and gifts, benefits, deductions and recoupments

    Last modified: 07 Jun 2022QC 31991