Show download pdf controls
  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common factory worker expenses for:

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur to wash, dry and iron clothing you wear at work, if it's:

    • protective (for example, a hi-vis jacket)
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing such as jeans
    • a uniform either non-compulsory and registered with AusIndustry or compulsory.

    This also includes laundromat and dry-cleaning expenses.

    We consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

    • $1 per load if it only contains clothing you wear at work from one categories above
    • 50c per load if you mix personal items of clothing with work clothing from one of the categories above.

    You can claim the actual costs you incur for repair and dry-cleaning expenses.

    If your laundry claim (excluding dry-cleaning expenses) is $150 or less, you don't need to keep records. However, you will still need to be able to show how you work out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

    See also:

    Licences, permits and cards

    You can’t claim the cost of getting your initial licence, regulatory permit, cards or certificates in order to get a job.

    You can claim a deduction for the additional costs you incur to get or renew these expenses in order to continue to perform your work duties. For example, if you need to have a forklift licence to get your job, you can’t claim the initial cost of to get it, however you can claim the cost of renewing it during the period you are working.

    Meal and snack expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of food, drink or snacks you consume during your normal working hours, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

    See also:

    Music streaming services, CDs, audio books or podcasts

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of music streaming services, CDs, audio books, podcasts or devices that you use at work. Even if they're used to keep you motivated or occupied at work, these items aren't essential to earning your income. They are private expenses.

    Overtime meal expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime, if all of the following apply:

    • you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement
    • the allowance is on your income statement as a separate allowance
    • you include the allowance in your tax return as income.

    You can't claim a deduction if the allowance is part of your salary and wages and not included as a separate allowance on your income statement.

    You generally need to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction. However, each year we set an amount you can claim for overtime meal expenses without receipts. This is called the 'reasonable amount'. If you receive an overtime meal allowance, are claiming a deduction and spent:

    • up to reasonable amount, you don’t have to get and keep receipts
    • more than the reasonable amount, you must get and keep receipts for your expenses.

    In all cases, you need to be able to show:

    • you spent the money
    • how you worked out your claim.

    Example: overtime meals

    Moana completes her eight-hour shift and is asked to work for an additional three hours. She is given a meal break and paid a meal allowance of $20 under her enterprise bargaining agreement. Moana buys and eats a meal during her overtime. It cost her $35.

    Moana can claim a deduction for $35 as the meal expense occurs during overtime while earning her employment income.

    As Moana's claim for her meal is more than the reasonable amount, she will need to keep written evidence for her overtime meal. Moana gets a receipt for her meal and takes a photo of it using the myDeductions tool in the ATO app so she can upload it in myTax when she lodges her tax return.

    Moana doesn't need to keep the paper receipt as she has a digital copy stored electronically.

    End of example

    See also:

    • Overtime meals
    • TD 2020/5 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2020-21 income year?

    For more factory worker expenses, see:

      Last modified: 17 Feb 2021QC 51225