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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common fitness and sporting industry expenses for:

    Taxi, ride-share, public transport and car hire

    You can claim a deduction for transport costs if you travel in the course of performing your work. For example, taking a taxi from your regular workplace to another work location.

    You can’t claim a deduction for transport expenses between home and work, these are private expenses.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer reimburses you for these expenses.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment you use to perform your duties as a fitness or sporting industry employee, for example exercise mats.

    You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.

    If the tool or equipment cost you $300 or less, you can claim a deduction for the full amount in the year you buy it, if:

    • you use it mainly for work purposes
    • it's not part of a set that together cost more than $300.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is, decline in value), if the tool or equipment:

    • cost more than $300
    • is part of a set that together cost more than $300.

    If you bought the tool or item of equipment part way through the year, you can only claim a deduction for the decline in value for the period of the income year that you own it.

    You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairs to tools and equipment that you use for work purposes.

    You can’t claim a deduction for tools and equipment that your employer or a third-party supplies for use.

    Example: tool and equipment costs less than $300

    Julian is employed as a strength and conditioning coach with a professional football team. He purchases additional training equipment ($150) that he only uses at work and stores at the club.

    Julian can claim an immediate deduction for the expenses as:

    • the equipment cost less than $300 and doesn't form part of a set
    • he requires the equipment to perform his work-related duties
    • he only uses these items at work.

    Julian keeps his receipt for the equipment expenses. He also takes a photo of the receipt using the myDeductions tool in the ATO app using his mobile device. Julian uploads this information to myTax when he lodges his take return.

    End of example


    Example: tools and equipment costing less than $300

    Eliza is a sports and fitness nutritionist. She buys additional charts and figures to assist her in explaining information to her clients. The tools and equipment are stored at her workplace and not used for private purposes.

    Eliza can claim a deduction for these expenses as she:

    • incurs the cost
    • only uses charts for her income-producing activities
    • has a record of the expenses.
    End of example

    See also:

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for expenses you incur when your work requires you to both:

    • travel for work
    • sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties.

    Expenses you can claim include your accommodation, meals and expenses which are incidental to the travel (incidentals). For example, when you travel interstate to attend a work-related conference, seminar or training course.

    You can't claim a deduction for travel expenses where you don’t incur any expenses, because:

    • you slept in accommodation your employer provides
    • you eat meals your employer provides
    • your employer or a third party reimburses you for any costs you incur.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn’t automatically mean you can claim a deduction. In all cases, you must be able to show:

    • you were away overnight
    • you have spent the money
    • the travel directly relates to earning your employment income
    • how you work out your claim.

    If you receive a travel allowance you must include it as assessable income in your tax return unless all of the following apply:

    • the travel allowance is not shown on your income statement or payment summary
    • the travel allowance doesn't exceed the Commissioner's reasonable amount
    • you spent the whole allowance on deductible accommodation, meal and incidental expenses, if applicable.

    The Commissioner's reasonable amount is set each year. The amount is used to determine whether an exception from keeping written evidence applies for the following expenses which are covered by a travel allowance:

    • accommodation
    • meal
    • incidentals.

    You don’t have to keep written evidence such as receipts if both of the following apply:

    • you received a travel allowance from your employer for the expenses, and
    • your deduction is less than the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

    If you claim a deduction for more than the Commissioner’s reasonable amount you need to keep written evidence for all expenses, not just for the amount over the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

    Even if you are not required to keep written evidence such as receipts, you must be able to explain your claim and show you spent the amounts. See also:

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

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. You can use your income statement as evidence of the amount you pay if it's shown on there.

    See also:

    Watches and smart watches

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or maintaining watches or timepieces, even if you require one as part of your job. This is a private expense.

    However, you can claim a deduction if your watch has special characteristics that you use for a work-related purpose. For example, a nurse's fob watch.

    If the watch cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for its decline in value over the effective life.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of repairs, batteries and watchbands for special watches. You only claim a deduction for the amount you use the item at work if you also wear it for private purposes.

    Similar to ordinary watches, a smart watch (that connects to a phone or other device to provide notifications, apps and GPS, for example) is a private expense and not deductible under ordinary circumstances.

    However, if you require some of the smart watch's functions as an essential part of your employment activities you may be able to claim a deduction for the expenses related to your work-related use of the smart watch. In order to show your work-related use of the watch, you will need to keep a diary or similar record of your use of the device for a representative period.

    Example: smart watch not deductible

    Dan is a personal trainer who mainly trains his clients one-on-one. As part of his role, he tracks his clients progress including reps and weights used. Dan's employer provides him with a device and a program for recording these details. The device provided by Dan's employer doesn't allow him to check his messages while he is working so he buys a smart watch. He receives both private and work-related messages through the smart watch.

    Dan can't claim a deduction for the smart watch because his employer has provided him with the necessary tools to fulfil his work functions. The ability to check messages on his phone during work with his watch is not part of his employment duties.

    End of example

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

    Find out about Fitness and sporting industry employees':

      Last modified: 17 Feb 2021QC 19680