• IT professionals – claiming work-related expenses

    Contractors and employees have different tax and super obligations. In the information communication and technology (ICT) industry, individual workers are either employees or contractors. This guide is for employee information technology (IT) managers and project managers, including apprentices.

    This guide will help you work out what work-related expenses you can claim a tax deduction for and the conditions you must meet before you can claim your expenses.

    It provides information about common work-related expenses, including:

    • car
    • travel
    • uniform, occupation-specific or protective clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning
    • self-education
    • other expenses – such as phone, home office, computers and laptops.

    When you sign the declaration on your tax return, you are declaring that:

    • everything you have told us is true
    • you can support your claims with written evidence.

    When you can make a claim

    In most situations, you can claim deductions for work-related expenses if your claim meets the following conditions:

    • you incurred the expense in doing your job
    • the expense is not private (personal)
    • you can show you incurred the expense, by providing receipts or other written evidence.

    If you are claiming a deduction for an expense you incurred partly for work and partly for personal purposes (such as mobile phone costs), you can only claim that portion of the expense that relates to your work use.

    Reimbursements

    You cannot claim a deduction for expenses you incur if those expenses are reimbursed to you by your employer. You do not include reimbursements on your tax return.

    Supporting your claims

    If your total claims for work-related expenses add up to more than $300 – excluding claims for car, meal allowance, award transport payment allowance and travel allowance expenses – you must keep written evidence, such as receipts. You must keep written evidence for the full amount of your claim, not just the amount over the first $300.

    If the total amount you are claiming is $300 or less, you do not need to keep receipts, but you must be able to show how you worked out your claims.

    • You need to keep written evidence of your work-related expenses for five years from the due date for lodging your tax return. If you lodge your tax return after the due date, the five years start from the date you lodged your tax return.
    • For a depreciating asset, you must keep records for five years from the date of your last claim for decline in value (depreciation).
      Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 26103