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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common factory worker expenses for:

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing and drying clothing you wear at work, if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing
    • a uniform either non-compulsory and registered with AusIndustry or compulsory.

    This also includes laundromat and dry cleaning expenses.

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

    See also:

    Licences and certificates

    You can claim a deduction for any additional costs you incur to renew a special licence,certificate or condition on your licence that relates to your work duties.

    You can't claim the cost of getting your initial licence or certificate to obtain a job, even if you must have it as a condition of employment.

    You can’t claim the initial cost of getting a special licence, condition on your licence or certificate, even if it is a condition in order to gain employment.

    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 music streaming services, CDs, audio books, podcasts or other devices such as an iPod that you use at work. Even if they're used to help relieve fatigue, these items aren't essential to earning your income. They are private expenses.

    Overtime meal expenses

    If you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement and it's included in your assessable income, you can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime.

    You can't claim a deduction if your overtime meal allowance is rolled into your salary and wages and is not included as a separate allowance on your income statement or payment summary.

    You are generally required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction for overtime meal expenses. Each year we set a reasonable amount you can claim for overtime meal expenses without receipts. If you receive an overtime meal allowance, are claiming a deduction and spent:

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

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

    • you spent the money
    • how you calculated 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. It isn't private in nature.

    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 2019/11 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime amounts for the 2019–20 income year?

    For more factory worker expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Feb 2020QC 51225