Teachers – claiming work-related expenses

If you are an employee teacher, this information outlines some of the deductions you may be able to claim.

The work-related expenses include:

  • motor vehicle
  • clothing, including compulsory uniforms, protective clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning
  • self-education
  • other – such as phones, calculators, electronic organisers, computers and software, meals, and teaching aids

There may be other deductions you can claim that are not included in this publication. When you sign your tax return, you are declaring that everything you have told us is true and you can support your claims with written evidence.

You are responsible for providing proof of your expenses, even if you use a registered tax agent.


Individual tax return instructions questions 1–12 and Individual tax return instructions supplement questions 13–24 deal with income. This section of the guide tells you how to include allowances, reimbursements, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer superannuation contributions on your tax return.


If any allowance is shown as a separate amount on your payment summary, include it as income at item 2 on your tax return.

You cannot automatically claim a deduction just because you received an allowance. See items D1 to D5 in Individual tax return instructions to work out if you can claim a deduction.

Teachers commonly receive the following allowances:

  • motor vehicle allowances (based on a cents-per-kilometre basis)
  • meal allowances.


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

Reportable fringe benefits

Your employer is required to report the total grossed-up amount of certain fringe benefits exceeding $2,000 (a grossed-up taxable value of $3,921) provided to you or your relatives on your payment summary.

You do not include this amount in your total income or loss amount, and you do not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it.

However, the total will be used in determining whether certain surcharges apply to you, whether you can claim certain deductions, and to establish whether you are eligible for certain tax offsets and other government benefits.

See also:

Reportable employer superannuation contributions

Your employer is required to report the amount of reportable employer superannuation contributions on your payment summary.

If your payment summary shows an amount at ‘reportable employer superannuation contributions’ and you do not salary sacrifice amounts to superannuation, ask your employer to confirm that the amount of reportable employer superannuation contribution on your payment summary does not include compulsory contributions, such as super guarantee or award contributions. 

We will not include reportable employer superannuation contributions in your income, and you will not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it.

However, we use reportable employer superannuation contributions to determine your eligibility for some tax offsets, the government super co-contribution and other government benefits, and whether the Medicare levy surcharge applies to you. Read item IT2 Reportable employer superannuation contributions in Individual tax return instructions for more information on reportable employer superannuation contributions.

See also:

    Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 22569