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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common factory worker expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of normal trips between your home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts). These are private expenses.

    In limited circumstances you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work. You can claim a deduction for the cost of these trips if all the following conditions are met:

    • The tools or equipment are essential for the performance of your employment duties.
    • The tools or equipment are bulky, meaning that because of its size or weight it is awkward to transport and can only be transported conveniently by motor vehicle.
    • There is no secure storage for such items at the workplace.

    It will not be sufficient if you transport the tools or equipment only as a matter of choice. For example, if your employer provides reasonably secure storage, your decision to transport items home will be a matter of choice.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase agreement) when you travel for work and you drive:

    • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, driving from your job as a factory worker to your second job as a bar assistant
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving between a warehouse and another work site.

    To claim a deduction you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method to calculate your deduction.

    If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a valid logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use along with evidence of your car expenses.

    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.

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

    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 the actual expenses related to your work travel.

    See also:

    Child care

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

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

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

    • protective clothing and footwear that provides a sufficient degree of protection against the risk of injury or illness posed by the activities you undertake to earn your income
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform, if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

    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 claim a deduction for buying it.

    You can claim clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income-earning activities or the environment in which you carry them out. To be considered protective, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk – for example, gloves and steel-capboots.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying plain clothing, such as jeans, drill shirts or running shoes worn at work, even if

    • you only wear it to work
    • your employer tells you to wear it.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing or reimburses you for these costs.

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Mike has to buy and wear shirts with his employer 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

    Example: employer registered uniform with AusIndustry

    Leda is a factory worker, and she also works in the reception area for a number of hours each day. Reception staff wear a polo shirt in the company's colours monogrammed with the company logo. It's not compulsory for a staff member to wear the polo shirt, but the employer encourages staff members to do so.

    Leda can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and maintaining the polo shirt if the uniform is entered on the AusIndustry register of approved occupational clothing.

    If Leda's employer provides the polo shirt at no cost or reimburses her for the cost she would not be entitled to claim a deduction for the shirt.

    She can however, claim a deduction for maintaining the shirt.

    End of example

    See also:

    Driver's licence

    You can't claim a deduction for getting or renewing your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    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.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for the training, or reimburses you.

    For more factory worker expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Feb 2020QC 51225