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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common doctor, specialist or other medical professional expenses for:

    AMA or other medical professional association membership fees

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing a membership with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) or other medical professional associations.

    If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary or income statement, you can use it to prove your claim.

    See also:

    Annual practising certificate fees

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your annual practising certificate.

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work. These are private expenses even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours.

    The limited exception to this is if you must carry bulky tools or equipment between home and work. Then, you can claim a deduction only if:

    • your employer requires you to transport the tools or equipment for work, that is you don't carry them as a matter of personal choice or convenience
    • the tools or equipment are essential to earning your income
    • there's no secure area for storing them at your workplace
    • the equipment is bulky – meaning it's heavy and/or cumbersome.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using your car when you're travelling for work. For example, when you:

    • drive between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling to a second job with another employer
    • drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving between two hospitals.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    You must keep records of your car use. If you drive a car you can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method to calculate your deduction. If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use of your car. If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct your actual expenses.

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care that you pay for when you're working. It's a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific (and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing)
    • a uniform.

    To claim a deduction for the cost of a uniform it must be unique, distinctive and compulsory to wear. Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that you must wear when you work is a uniform, so you can get a deduction for buying it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it. You can't claim for:

    • heavy duty conventional clothing such as jeans, drill shirts and trousers
    • running shoes or casual shoes.

    These are private expenses.

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Mike has to wear shirts his employer provides. Each shirt has his employer's company logo embroidered on it. As part of his uniform, he also has to wear black pants and black shoes.

    Mike can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering the shirts as they are:

    • distinctive items with the employer's logo
    • compulsory for him to wear at work.

    However, he can't claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning his black pants or shoes as they are items of a conventional nature.

    End of example

    See also:

    Drivers licence

    You can't claim a deduction for a drivers licence. This is a private expense, even if you must have it as a condition of employment.

    Entertainment expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment. This includes the cost of business lunches and attendance at sporting events, gala or social nights, concerts or other similar types of functions or events. This applies even if you discuss business matters at the occasion.

    Example: entertainment costs

    Rachael attends a social breakfast organised by the AMA. These breakfasts are held every other month to encourage medical professionals to meet socially with colleagues. Rachael isn't entitled to a deduction for the cost of attending the breakfast.

    End of example

    Fines

    You can't claim a deduction for any fines you get when you work. Fines may include, parking fines and speeding fines.

    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.

    For more doctor, specialist or other medical professionals' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 12 Apr 2019QC 56091