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  • Common expenses H–P

    Details on claiming common fitness and sporting industry expenses for:

    Hiring equipment

    You can claim the cost of hiring equipment that you use for carrying out your employment duties. However, if you also use the equipment you have hired for private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for your work-related use.

    Home office expenses

    You may be able to claim a deduction for expenses you incur as an employee working from home. These can be additional running expenses such as electricity, the decline in value of equipment or furniture, phone and internet expenses.

    You can only claim a deduction for the additional running costs you incur as a result of working from home. For example, if you work in your lounge room when others are also present, you can't claim the cost of lighting and heating or cooling. This is because there is no additional cost for those expenses as a result of working from home.

    There are some expenses you can't claim a deduction for as an employee. Employees who work at home can't claim costs:

    • for coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may provide you at work
    • for your children and their education including
      • setting them up for online learning
      • teaching them at home
      • buying equipment such as iPads and desks
    • your employer pays for or reimburses you for the expense
    • for the decline in value of items provided by your employer – for example, a laptop or a phone.

    There are several methods you can use to work out your home office expenses. The methods you can use depend on your circumstances. You must meet the record keeping requirements and working criteria to use each method.

    You generally can’t claim occupancy expenses (rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums), unless your home is your 'place of business'. This occurs where your home office is both:

    • your principal place of work because no other work location is provided by your employer
    • exclusively or almost exclusively used for work purposes.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer paid for your home office to be set up or they reimbursed you for the expense.

    The Home office expenses calculator helps you work out the amount you can claim as a deduction for home office expenses.

    For more detailed information and record keeping requirements for each method, see:

    See also:

    • PS LA 2001/6 Verification approaches for home office and electronic device expenses
    • TR 93/30 Income tax: deductions for home office expenses
    • PCG 2020/3 Claiming deductions for additional running expenses incurred whilst working from home due to COVID-19

    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 sports gear
    • 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 with work clothing from one of the categories above.

    You can claim the actual costs you incurred for repairing 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 calculate and be able to show how you worked out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

    Example: laundering a compulsory uniform with plain clothes

    Lauren is a personal trainer with a professional netball team. Her employer provides her with polo shirts embroidered with the team’s name and logo. She is required to wear these shirts to all team training sessions and events.

    Lauren buys plain black exercise pants and business pants to wear with the polo-shirts.

    Lauren can claim the cost of laundering the shirts she is provided as they are:

    • distinctive items with the employer's logo
    • compulsory for her to wear at work.

    She can't claim the purchase or laundering of the exercise and business pants as they are conventional in nature, even though she only wears them to work.

    Lauren washes her work shirts three times per week in a washing load with her other clothes. Lauren works for 30 weeks during the financial year and applies a reasonable basis to calculate her claim as follows:

    3 washes per week × $0.50 per load × 30 weeks of the year = $45

    End of example

     

    Example: laundering conventional clothing – not deductible

    Sam is employed in a gym as a receptionist and general administration officer. His employer doesn't provide a uniform but requires staff to wear neat exercise wear to work.

    Sam buys his own exercise wear for work.

    Even though his employer requires him to wear them to work, Sam can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or laundering the exercise wear. These are conventional clothes.

    End of example

    See also:

    Massage expenses

    You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of massage or other alternative therapies, these are private expenses.

    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.

    Newspapers and other news services, magazines and professional publications

    The cost of newspapers, other news services and magazines are generally private expenses and not deductible.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying or subscribing to a professional publication, newspaper or magazine if you can show:

    • a direct connection between your specific work duties and the content
    • the content is specific to your employment and is not general in nature.

    If you use the publication for work and private purposes, you can only claim the portion related to your work-related use.

    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, agreement or an award
    • 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 are generally required 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.

    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?

    Parking fees and tolls

    You can't claim a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of work. You also can't claim a deduction for tolls you incur for trips between your home and work. This is a private expense.

    You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls you incur on work-related trips.

    Example: parking fees

    Spencer drives his own car to work each day and parks in the secure parking centre next to the fitness centre where he works.

    Once a month Spencer drives his car to a training facility to train new fitness instructors, required for his role as a fitness coach. He pays for parking and isn't reimbursed by his employer.

    Spencer can't claim the cost he incurs parking at his regular place of work. However, he can claim his parking at the training facility as he incurs this expense on a work-related trip.

    End of example

    See also:

    Phone, data and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for phone, data and internet costs for the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

    If your phone, data and internet use for work is incidental and you're not claiming more than $50 in total, you do not need to keep records.

    If you claim more than $50, you need to keep records to show your work use. For example, an itemised bill where you can identify your work-related calls and data use.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer:

    • provides you with a phone for work and pays for your usage
    • reimburses you for the costs you incur.

    You can’t claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because these are personal calls.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    Ralph uses his mobile phone for work purposes. He is on a set plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual calls.

    At least once a year, Ralph prints out his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is calling for work – for example, his manager and his clients.

    Out of the 300 calls he has made in a four-week period, Ralph works out that 120 (40%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    Ralph calculates his work use percentage for calls as follows:

    Total work calls ÷ total number of calls = work use percentage for calls (120 ÷ 300 = 40%)

    Ralph can claim 40% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes, calculated as:

    $49 × 0.40 = $19.60

    As Ralph was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he works out his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    10.6 months × $19.60 = $207.76

    End of example

     

    Example: work and private use

    Sasha uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and manage her appointments with clients. Sasha also uses her computer and the internet for work and private purposes.

    Sasha's internet use diary showed 40% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 60% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    $1,200 × 40% = $480 as work-related internet use.

    If there was anyone else that accesses the internet connection, Sasha will need to reduce her claim to account for their use.

    End of example

    See also:

    For more fitness and sporting industry employees' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 17 Feb 2021QC 19680