You can claim a deduction, called a capital allowance, for the decline in value of equipment used for work. If the equipment is also used for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the decline in value.
You cannot claim a deduction if the equipment is supplied by your employer or any other person.
Generally, the amount of your deduction depends on the effective life of the equipment.
Equipment costing $300 or less
If you purchased equipment costing $300 or less and you use it mainly for work, you can claim an immediate deduction for the work-related portion of the cost.
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).
There is also an option to pool equipment costing less than $1,000 and equipment written down to less than $1,000 under the diminishing value method. A deduction for the decline in value of equipment in such a low-value pool is worked out by a single calculation using set rates.
Equipment for which you may be able to claim a capital allowance includes:
- answering machines, telephones, facsimile machines, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunications equipment
- tools and equipment.
You cannot claim a deduction for child care expenses. These are private expenses even if you need to pay for child care to go to work.
You cannot claim a deduction for fines imposed under a law of the Commonwealth, a state, a territory, a foreign country or by a court, for example, a fine you received if you were caught speeding when driving between jobs.
First aid courses
You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you, as a designated first aid person, are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.
Glasses and contact lenses
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying prescription glasses or contact lenses as it is a private expense relating to a personal medical condition. You may be able to claim a deduction for equipment that is used to protect your eyes at work, such as goggles and welding masks. You may claim the cost of protective sunglasses if you are required to work outdoors and as a result are exposed to risk of eye damage from sunlight, see Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens.
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.
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.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your licences and certificates that relate to your work, but not your driver's licence. You cannot claim the cost of getting your initial licence or certificate.
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of newspapers as it is a private expense.
Removal and relocation
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost involved in taking up a transfer in an existing employment or taking up new employment with a different employer.
Seminars, conferences and training courses
You can claim a deduction for the cost of attending seminars, conferences and training courses that are sufficiently connected to your work activities.
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.
Technical or professional publications
You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have a content sufficiently connected to your employment as a building worker – for example, a building supervisor can claim a deduction for the cost of the magazine.