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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 normal trips between your home and work. These are private expenses, even if you:

    • live a long way from your usual workplace
    • have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts).

    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 to perform your employment duties.
    • the tools or equipment are bulky, meaning that
      • because of the size and weight, they are awkward to transport, and
      • can only be transported conveniently using a 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 also claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase agreement) when 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 work out your deduction.

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

    If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need be able to show how you work out your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    To claim a deduction in your tax return, include the amount of your claim at ‘Work-related car expenses’. The Work-related car expenses calculator can help you work out the amount you can claim as a deduction.

    You can’t use the cents per kilometre or logbook methods to work out your claim for a:

    • motorcycle
    • vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more (such as a ute)
    • vehicle that can transport nine passengers or more (such as a people mover).

    For these vehicles, you can claim the actual expenses you incur for your work-related travel. This includes costs such as fuel, oil, insurance and loan interest along with the decline in value of the vehicle. You must keep receipts for all your expenses and records to show your work-related use of the vehicle. The easiest way to do this is to keep a logbook or documents that provide similar details to a logbook.

    To claim a deduction for actual expenses you incur for a vehicle not defined as a car, include the amount at ‘Work-related travel expenses’.

    For more detailed information, see:

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care (including school holidays and before and after school care) when you're working. It's a private expense, and the expenses have no direct connection to earning your income.

    Clothing and uniform expenses (including footwear)

    With a few exceptions, clothing is a private expense. You can't claim conventional clothing (including footwear) as a work-related expense, even if your employer requires you to wear it and you only wear these items of clothing at work.

    'Conventional clothing' is everyday clothing worn by people regardless of their occupation – for example, jeans and t-shirts worn by factory workers

    You can claim a deduction for costs you incur to buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's in one of the following categories:

    • protective clothing
    • occupation specific clothing
    • a compulsory uniform, that your employer strictly and consistently enforces you wear by workplace agreement or policy and distinctly identifies either
      • you as an employee working for a particular employer
      • the products or services your employer provides
    • a non-compulsory uniform, that your employer listed on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing with AusIndustry.

    Protective clothing is clothing you wear to protect yourself from specific risks of injury or illness at work. The clothing must have protective features or functions (for example, steel-capped boots, fire-resistant clothing, or boiler suits that protect conventional clothing). Conventional clothes you wear at work are not regarded as protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work. This includes jeans, drill shirts, shorts, trousers, socks, closed shoes.

    Occupation specific clothing is clothing that distinctly identifies you as a person associated with a particular profession, trade or occupation (for example a judge's robes or a chef's chequered pants). Items traditionally worn in a profession are not occupation-specific where the clothing is worn by multiple professions.

    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 buying 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 can't 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 to get or renew your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    You can claim a deduction for additional costs you incur to get a special licence or condition on your licence to perform your work duties. For example, the cost you incur to get a heavy vehicle permit.

    See also:

    First aid courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you are both:

    • a designated first aid person
    • need to complete a first aid training course to assist in emergency work situations.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

    For more factory worker expenses, see:

      Last modified: 17 Feb 2021QC 51225