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  • Record keeping

    You need to get and keep records of your expenses for which you want to claim deductions. This is usually a receipt but can be another form of written evidence (such as an invoice).

    Records can be electronic (for example, you can take a photo of your receipt, or use an app). The myDeductions tool in the ATO app, can help you to keep track of your work-related expenses. It’s an easy way to capture information on the go, making tax time quicker by uploading your deductions to your tax return. If you use a tax agent they can access your uploaded data through their practice management software or you can email a copy to them from the app.

    Records must show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. They must be in English.

    There are a few exceptions to this rule:

    Small expense receipts

    You don’t have to get and keep a receipt for work-related expenses that are $10 or less, as long as your total claim for small expenses is $200 or less.

    If you don’t get a receipt for small expenses you can still claim a deduction as long as you make a record of the small expenses. For example, you can make a record by writing in your diary.

    Your record should show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. It must be in English. You can use this to show how you calculated your deduction if we request this information from you.

    Hard to get receipts

    If you can’t get a receipt for a work-related expense, you can still claim a deduction as long as you make a record. For example, you can make a record by writing in your diary.

    Your record should show what you purchased, when, where, and how much you spent. It must be in English. You can use this to show how you calculated your deduction if we request this information from you.

    Overtime meal expense receipts

    You can claim a deduction for your overtime meal expenses (food and drink) without keeping all your receipts if you:

    • undertake overtime
    • receive an overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial law or an award
    • spent money on meals (food and drink) you consumed during your overtime meal break
    • are not claiming more than the reasonable amount we set – see Overtime meal expenses.

    Even if you aren't required to get and keep receipts for your overtime meal expenses, we may check your tax return and ask you to show how you calculated your claim. If we ask, you'll need to provide documents that show:

    • when you did overtime
    • you purchased a meal
    • you correctly declared the overtime meal allowance as income in your tax return.

    If you don’t receive an overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial law or an award or are claiming a deduction for more than the reasonable amount, you need to get and keep your receipts for your overtime meal expenses.

    You claim what you actually spent, not the reasonable amount.

    See also:

    Find out about factory workers':

      Last modified: 17 Feb 2021QC 51225