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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.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses or prescription sunglasses if you wear them to reduce the risk of illness or injury while working as a flight crew member.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin products, even though you may be paid an allowance for grooming and be expected to be well groomed. All grooming 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 if your work conditions are harsh you can claim a deduction for:

    • 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 and drying clothing you wear at work if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing
    • a uniform either non-compulsory registered with AusIndustry or compulsory.

    This also includes laundromat 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 be able to explain how you calculated your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Danielle is a flight attendant. She wears a compulsory uniform supplied by her employer with the company's monogram. The uniform is specific to her occupation as a flight attendant for the company and is not available for purchase by the general public.

    Danielle can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering and maintaining the compulsory uniform. If she had to buy the compulsory uniform, she would also be able to claim a deduction for its cost.

    She cleans her uniforms in a separate load of laundry twice a week. Danielle worked 48 weeks during the year. Her claim of $96 for laundry expenses is worked out as follows:

    Number of claimable laundry loads per week × Number of weeks × reasonable cost per load

    2 × 48 × $1 = $96

    Danielle also has a blazer as part of her compulsory uniform however this item requires dry-cleaning. She only wears the blazer through winter and only has it dry cleaned once a fortnight. The dry-cleaning costs her $21 and she dry cleans the blazer four times over the winter period.

    Danielle can claim the cost of dry-cleaning her blazer as it is part of her compulsory uniform. Her dry cleaning expenses are based on the actual cost she incurred for those services. Danielle keeps her receipts from the dry cleaner to substantiate her claims. She calculates her claim as follows:

    4 × $21 = $126

    End of example

    See also:

    Licences, cards and permits

    You can claim a deduction for any renewal fees for licences, regulatory permits, certificates, or 'cards' you hold in respect of your employment.

    You can't claim the cost of getting your initial licence or certificate required to secure employment. This is because you incur the expense to enable you to start employment, not during the course of your employment.

    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.

    If you use luggage for travel overnight for work you can claim a deduction for the decline in value of the luggage if it cost more than $300. If it cost less than $300, you can claim an immediate deduction under the capital allowance provisions.

    You need to apportion the cost of the luggage if it is used also for private travel.

    Example: claiming luggage

    Jeff purchased luggage valued at $250. He uses the luggage exclusively for work purposes. Since the luggage cost less than $300, Jeff can claim 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 your normal working hours, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

    See also:

    Medical examinations

    You can claim a deduction if you incur the expense to undertake a compulsory assessment or medical examination in your current employment and are not reimbursed by your employer.

    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

    If you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement and it's included in your assessable income, you can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime.

    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 income statement or payment summary.

    You are 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 receipts. If you receive an overtime meal allowance, are claiming a deduction and spent:

    • 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 your expenses.

    In all cases, you need to be able to show:

    • you spent the money
    • how you calculated your claim.

    See also:

    • Overtime meals
    • TD 2019/11 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime amounts for the 2019–20 income year?

    For more flight crew expenses, see:

      Last modified: 12 Feb 2020QC 24416