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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common flight crew expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts). These are private expenses.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase agreement) when you travel for work and you drive:

    • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from the airport to your second job as a bartender
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, travelling from a customer service seminar at head office to the airport to commence your shift.

    To claim a deduction you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method to calculate your deduction.

    If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a valid logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use along with evidence of your car expenses.

    If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct the actual expenses related to your work travel.

    Example: travel between home and work

    Jenny works for a regional airline and is required to be on standby. She regularly checks-in with her employer via the internet and mobile phone and occasionally is contacted at home after regular hours for shift work or to attend to other matters.

    Although Jenny is at home on standby, her travel between home and work is considered private travel and can't be claimed as a deduction.

    End of example


    Example: travelling directly between two separate workplaces

    Mia is a flight attendant who has a second job as a cashier at a supermarket. On most days, Mia travels directly from the supermarket to the airport to start her afternoon shift with ABC Airlines.

    Mia can claim a deduction for the cost of her travel from the supermarket to her second job at the airport as she is travelling between two separate workplaces.

    On occasion, Mia finishes work early at the supermarket, and goes home to change into her uniform for her shift at ABC Airlines. On these occasions, Mia can't claim the cost of her travel from the supermarket to home, and from home to the airport, as she has not travelled directly from one job to the other.

    End of example


    Example: travel for training that you can claim

    David was recently designated as a first-aid officer to assist in emergency work situations. He travels from the airport to attend a first-aid training course while still on duty and then travels directly home.

    The cost of the journey from the airport to the first-aid training course and then home is deductible. David can also claim a deduction for the cost of the training course if he personally incurs the expense to attend.

    End of example


    Example: travelling from main workplace to alternate workplace

    Jo is employed by ABC Airlines and one day per month is required to travel from her office at the airport to head office in the city. Head office isn't her regular workplace and these meetings usually only last three hours before she returns to her regular workplace at the airport.

    The cost of the round trip from the airport to head office and back is work-related. If Jo travels by taxi and is reimbursed for the fare, the cost of travel isn't deductible. If Jo travels in her own car and is not reimbursed for the expense she can claim a deduction.

    End of example


    Example: travel that you can't claim

    Martin is employed by Quality Airlines and works at one workplace for part of the week and another workplace for the remainder of the week. Both locations are considered to be his normal place of work as he has a regular pattern of performing his income-producing activities in both places. The cost of travel between home and each of the workplaces is not deductible.

    End of example

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care when you are working. It is a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it is:

    • protective
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform, if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

    Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that your employer strictly requires you to wear when you work is a compulsory uniform. .You can claim a deduction for buying and repairing it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying plain clothing, such as black trousers, plain shirts or black shoes worn at work, even if:

    • you only wear it to work
    • your employer tells you to wear it.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing.

    Example: deduction for compulsory uniform

    Alex is a flight attendant employed by Airline ABC. Her employer has a strict uniform policy that describes stockings must be grey-mist and shoes must be black leather court shoes. Failure by Alex to comply with the airline's uniform directive and orders of dress will result in disciplinary action. Alex doesn't use either the grey-mist stockings or the black leather court shoes outside of work.

    A deduction is allowable for the cost of Alex's grey-mist stockings and black leather court shoes as they form an integral part of her compulsory uniform specified in the Airline ABC uniform guidelines.

    End of example


    Example: deduction for a second pair of shoes

    Sarah is a flight attendant employed by an international airline. Her employer has supplied each flight attendant with a pair of shoes that meets their strict compulsory uniform policy.

    Sarah found that she needed another pair of shoes and decided to buy herself a second pair. The shoes that Sarah bought meet all of the conditions set out in her employer's uniform policy (colour, style and type), with the additional benefit of being more comfortable.

    Sarah can claim a deduction for the cost of the shoes that she bought as they meet the conditions of the strict compulsory uniform policy set by her employer and she uses them exclusively for work.

    End of example


    Example: deduction for a single item of distinctive clothing

    Karen is employed as a flight attendant by a regional airline travelling from Perth to the mining towns in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Her employer provides her with a blue shirt with the company's logo and name printed on the shirt.

    Karen is required to wear this shirt at all times when she is at work. The shirt is only worn by employees of the company and isn't available for purchase by the general public. Her employer expects Karen to be well presented but doesn't stipulate what colour or style of clothing or footwear must be worn with the shirt.

    Karen's stockings, trousers, skirts and shoes are items of ordinary clothing and don't form part of a uniform.

    Karen can't claim a deduction for the cost or maintenance of any trousers, skirts, stockings or shoes she buys to wear to work. These clothing items are of a conventional nature and therefore they are a private expense.

    Karen can claim a deduction for the laundry and maintenance costs of the shirt supplied by her employer as they are compulsory to wear.

    If this shirt was not supplied by her employer and Karen had to buy it, she would be entitled to a deduction for its cost as well as the laundry and maintenance costs.

    End of example

    See also:

    Driver' licence

    You can't claim a deduction for obtaining or renewing your driver' licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    First aid courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you, as a designated first aid person, are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

    Example: first aid course

    Leanne is required to hold a first aid qualification in her role as a flight attendant as she is required to use these skills and knowledge in the event of an in-flight emergency.

    Her employer enrols and pays for her to attend the training course as part of her induction as a flight attendant. She attends the training onsite at the flight attendant training centre with a group of other flight attendants.

    Leanne can't claim a deduction for the cost of the course as her employer pays for her to attend the course.

    End of example

    For more flight crew expenses, see:

      Last modified: 12 Feb 2020QC 24416