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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common flight crew expenses for:

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have content sufficiently connected to your employment as flight crew.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as flight crew.

    If a tool or item of equipment cost you $300 or less, and you use it for work only, you can claim a deduction for the whole cost in the year you purchased it. Otherwise, you can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is; depreciation).

    If the item is part of a set that together cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the set over the life of the asset.

    If you also use the tool or item of equipment for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    If you bought the tool or item of equipment part way through the year, you can only claim a deduction for the portion of the year that you owned it.

    You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairs to tools and equipment.

    See also:

    Transporting luggage

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of transporting your luggage to and from the airport as this is a private expense.

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur on accommodation, meals and incidentals when you travel for work and sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties. For example, flying overseas and taking your mandatory rest break at the destination before completing the return leg home.

    You can't claim a deduction for accommodation where you haven't incurred any accommodation expenses, because you:

    • sleep in accommodation provided by your employer
    • are reimbursed for any costs by your employer.

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

    • you were away overnight
    • you spent the money
    • the travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    Each year, we set a reasonable amount for travel expenses. Generally, you're required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction for travel expenses. However, if you spent and are claiming a deduction:

    • 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.

    Example : international travel expenses

    Wendy works for a commercial airline and flies internationally. Wendy is based at the Sydney airport and is regularly rostered to fly from Sydney to Fiji and return. Her flight to Fiji leaves Sydney at 9.00am and arrives in Fiji at 14.10pm (local time). The return flight doesn't depart until the following day, leaving Fiji at 18.00pm (local time) and arriving at Sydney at 21.50pm.

    Wendy is required to report to the airport 90 minutes prior to her shift.

    As Wendy is required to stay in Fiji and sleep away from home overnight, her employer provides accommodation and transport to and from her hotel.

    Wendy’s employer pays her an allowance to cover her meal expenses. She receives:

    • $45 for dinner on the first night in Fiji
    • $25 for breakfast
    • $35) for lunch.

    She also receives an allowance of $20 for incidental expenses for the two days she is away from home. Wendy is provided lunch on the flight over and dinner on the flight back so she isn’t paid an allowance for these meals.

    Wendy spends $25 on breakfast at the hotel, $30 on lunch and $50 on dinner. Wendy incurs incidentals on work-related phone calls of $15 per trip.

    During the year, Wendy completes this same shift 25 times. At the end of the year, her employer shows the allowance on her income statement (25 × $145 = $3,625). Wendy declares the allowance of $3,625 as income in her tax return.

    Wendy can claim a deduction of $3,000 ($45 + $25 + 50+15 × 25) for meals and incidentals as she is required to travel to Fiji in the course of performing her employment duties.

    Because Wendy has spent less than the reasonable allowance amount, Wendy doesn't have to substantiate (get and keep receipts) her expenses however she will be required to show how she calculated the amount of her claim.

    End of example

    See also:

    Travel insurance

    You can't claim a deduction for travel insurance as this is a private expense.

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. If the amount you paid is shown on your income statement or payment summary you can use it to prove your claim.

    See also:

    Visa application fees

    You can claim the cost of visa application fees when you're required to enter a country as part of your job and you are not reimbursed by your employer.

    Watches and timepieces

    You can't claim a deduction for the costs you incur to buy or maintain watches or timepieces, even if they are required as part of your uniform. This is a private expense.

    See also:

    For more flight crew expenses, see:

    Find out more about flight crew:

      Last modified: 12 Feb 2020QC 24416