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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common flight crew expenses for:

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses. These are private expenses.

    Pilots and flight engineers can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses used to combat the harsh working conditions inside a cockpit.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for grooming products. For example – hairdressing, cosmetics, nail polish or hair and skin products. Even if there is an expectation that you are well groomed or you receive an allowance grooming, these products are private expenses.

    You may be able to claim a deduction if you have harsh or abnormal working conditions, such as the pressurised environment of a plane. To be able to claim a deduction, a well-groomed and well-presented image must be of critical importance to your employer. In these circumstances you can claim a deduction for products used to combat the abnormal drying of skin and hair. For example:

    • rehydrating moisturiser
    • rehydrating hair conditioner.

    You can only claim a deduction for the cost of the work-related portion of these products.

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing deductible clothing. This also includes laundromat and dry cleaning expenses.

    See also:

    Licences

    You can claim a deduction for any renewal fees for business licences that relate to your work, but not your driver licence. You can't claim the cost of getting your initial business licence.

    Luggage expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing luggage to the extent of the work-related use of the luggage. This includes:

    • travel bags
    • overnight bags
    • suit packs
    • navigation bags
    • suitcases
    • luggage trolleys.

    Example: claiming luggage

    Anjelica purchased luggage valued at $250. She uses the luggage for work purposes only. Since the luggage didn't cost more than $300, Anjelica is entitled to an immediate deduction of $250.

    End of example

    Meal and snack expenses

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

    You can't claim your meals or expenses incidental to your travel if you weren't required to travel for work, even if you received a travel allowance. For example, you can't claim a deduction for food and drink for mandatory long rest breaks.

    You can't claim more than one meal of each type in a 24-hour period, even though you may eat your meals at unconventional times. For example, you can't claim for two dinners in one day.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you travel for work – see Flight crew Travel expenses.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you work overtime – see Flight crew' Overtime meal expenses.

    Medical examinations

    You can claim a deduction for medical examinations that you must take to fulfil your health assessment requirements associated with the renewal of your work-related business licences.

    You can't claim a deduction if you undertake a pre-employment medical examination, even if you must have it as a condition of employment.

    Overtime meal expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime, if you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial award or enterprise agreement.

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

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

    • 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.

    See also:

    For more flight crew expenses, see:

      Last modified: 10 Apr 2019QC 24416