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  • Bus drivers – income and work-related deductions

    If you earn your income as an employee bus driver, this information will help you to work out what:

    • income and allowances to report
    • you can and can't claim as a work-related deduction
    • records you need to keep.

    Find out about bus drivers':

    Income – salary and allowances

    Your income statement or a payment summary shows your salary, wages and allowances for the income year. Include all the income you receive during the income year in your tax return, regardless of when you earn it, including:

    Don't include reimbursements.

    Salary and wages

    You must include your salary and wages as income in your tax return. Include any bonuses you receive.

    See also:


    Include all allowances shown on your income statement or payment summary as income in your tax return.

    You may receive an allowance to:

    • compensate you for an aspect of your work – for example, for driving an articulated bus
    • help you pay for certain expenses such as your uniform.

    If your employer pays you:

    • an amount based on an estimate of what you might spend, such as paying cents per kilometre if you use your car for work, then it's an allowance
    • the amount before or after you incurred the expense, such as paying for accommodation and meals when travelling away from home overnight for work, it's a reimbursement.

    Allowances on your income statement or payment summary

    You may receive allowances:

    • for work that may be unpleasant, special or dangerous
    • in recognition of holding special skills, such as a first-aid certificate
    • to compensate for industry peculiarities, such as for driving a particular type of bus.

    These payments don't cover you for expenses you might incur. Include these allowances as income in your tax return.

    If you receive an allowance from your employer, you aren't always entitled to a deduction – it depends on the situation. See Deductions.

    Allowances not on your income statement or payment summary

    Your employer may not include some allowances on your income statement or payment summary. This can apply to travel allowances and overtime meal allowances paid under an industrial law, award or agreement. You can see these allowances on your payslips.

    If the allowance isn't on your income statement or payment summary, and you:

    • spent the whole amount on deductible expenses, you
      • don't include it as income in your tax return
      • can't claim any deductions for these expenses
    • spent more than your allowance, you
      • include the allowance as income in your tax return
      • can claim a deduction for your expense, if you're eligible. See Deductions.

    See also:


    If your employer pays you the exact amount for expenses you incur (either before or after you incur them), the payment is a reimbursement. We don't consider a reimbursement to be an allowance.

    If your employer reimburses you for expenses you incur:

    • don't include the reimbursement as income in your tax return
    • you can't claim a deduction for the expenses.

    Find out about bus drivers':

      Last modified: 10 Feb 2021QC 61150