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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on claiming common flight crew expenses for:

    Parking fees and tolls

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

    You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls on work-related trips between two separate places of work.

    You may not have to get and keep written evidence for these expenses if they are small or hard to get, for example, if you pay cash in a roadside parking meter. You will however need to be able to explain how you calculated your claim.

    See also:

    Passport application and renewal fees

    You can't claim a deduction for acquiring a passport, because this primarily relates to your personal right to travel overseas. Passport expenses are generally private in nature and not deductible.

    You can claim a deduction for any renewal fees you incur, if as a flight attendant you require a passport for overseas travel as part of your work duties. You need to apportion the cost or the renewal fee for personal use.

    Phone and internet expenses

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

    You need to keep records to show your work use if you claim more than $50 on phone and internet expenses.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer provides you with a phone for work and pays for the usage, or if your employer reimburses you for the costs.

    You can't claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because they aren't work-related calls.

    Example: calculating the apportionment of phone expenses

    Lily uses her mobile phone for work purposes (mainly outgoing calls). She is on a set mobile phone plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    Lily receives an itemised account from her phone provider each month by email that includes details of the individual calls she has made.

    At least once a year, and sometimes two or three times, Lily prints out her account and highlights the work-related calls she has made. She makes notes on her account for the first month about who she is calling for work – her employer, manager and so on.

    Of the 200 calls she makes in a four-week period, she works out that 30 calls (15%) are for work and applies that percentage to her cap amount of $49 a month.

    She works out her calls for work purposes as follows:

    Total work calls ÷ Total number of calls = Work use percentage for calls

    30 ÷ 200 = 15%

    Lily can claim 15% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes, that is:

    $49 × 15% = $7.35

    Lily was only at work for 38 weeks of the year (8.8 months), she calculates her work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    8.8 months × $7.35 = $64.68

    End of example


    Example: diary records for use of computer

    Simone uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and complete work-related online courses. Simone uses her computer and the internet for both work and private purposes.

    Simone keeps a diary for a four week period, recording the times she used the internet for work and private purposes. Simone's diary shows 10% of her internet use was for work-related activities and 90% for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200, she can claim:

    $1,200 × 10% = $120 for work-related internet use.

    End of example

    See also:

    Product knowledge

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of acquiring product knowledge– for example, expenses you incur to try cheese and wine sold on the flights you work. This also applies to travel to the destinations your route flies. These expenses are not sufficiently related to your income-earning activities as a flight crew member.

    Repairs to tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    Salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance

    You can claim a deduction for the premium paid for salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance if a benefit paid under a policy is assessable income.

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education and study expenses if it is directly related to your current employment as flight crew and it:

    • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
    • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

    You can't claim a deduction if the education::

    • doesn't have a connection with your current employment
    • only relates in a general way to your current employment or profession
    • enables you to get employment or change employment

    Self-education expenses include course fees, travel expenses (for example, attending a conference interstate), transport costs, books and equipment. You usually have to reduce your self-education expenses by $250 – that is, the first $250 of expenses for self-education aren't deductible.

    Example: doesn't maintain or improve specific skills or knowledge

    Brianna is a flight attendant. Her duties consist of helping passengers in locating their seats, stowing luggage and carry-on items, conduct emergency safety procedures and demonstrate emergency equipment as well as regular in-flight services such as prepare and serve meals and drinks to passengers.

    Brianna wants to become a commercial airline pilot so she is studying a Diploma of Aviation. The course isn't connected to the work duties she performs and the specific knowledge she gains from her study are unrelated.

    Therefore Brianna can't claim a deduction for the costs she incus obtaining the Diploma of Aviation.

    End of example

    See also:

    Self-education and study and training support loans

    You can't claim the repayment of loans you receive to help pay for your self-education or study expenses. This includes:

    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans
    • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
    • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loan
    • Trade Support Loan Program

    You may be able to claim a deduction for course or tuition fees where the self-education expenses are directly related to your current employment as flight crew.

    See also:

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as flight crew.

    Example: deductible training course

    Nelly is a flight attendant that has been promoted to cabin crew supervisor. After accepting the promotion, Nelly enrols in a training course on Inflight leadership to build on her communication and decision making skills.

    As this course is related to Nelly's current position as a cabin crew supervisor, she can claim a deduction for the cost of attending the course as well as any incidental expenses she incurs, such as taxi fares, training materials or parking fees.

    End of example

    Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if you're required to work in the sun and use these items to protect yourself while at work – for example, you work on the tarmac at an airfield servicing, refuelling or loading aircraft.

    For more flight crew expenses, see:

      Last modified: 12 Feb 2020QC 24416