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  • Common expenses A–K

    Details on claiming common hairdresser or beauty professional expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a car expenses deduction for normal trips between your home and regular place of work. These are private expenses, even if you:

    • live a long way from your usual or regular workplace
    • have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts).

    In limited circumstances, you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work or where you had shifting places of employment.

    To be able to claim a deduction for the cost of trips between home and work while carrying bulky tools or equipment, all the following conditions must be met:

    • the tools or equipment are essential to perform your employment duties
    • the tools or equipment are bulky, meaning that    
      • because of the size and weight, they are awkward to transport
      • they can only be transported conveniently using a motor vehicle
    • there is no secure storage for such items at the workplace.

    It will not be sufficient if you transport the tools or equipment merely as a matter of choice. For example, if your employer provides reasonably secure storage, your decision to transport items home will be a matter of choice.

    You are considered to have shifting places of employment where you have no fixed place of work and you continually travel from one work site to another in a working day.

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

    • directly between separate jobs on the same day – for example, from the salon to your second job as a TAFE trainer
    • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving from the beauty salon to a client's home for a make-up booking
    • from home directly to an alternative workplace - for example, driving to a training course that is being held somewhere other than your regular place of work.

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

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

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

    If you claim your work-related car expenses using one of the above methods, you can’t claim any further deductions in the same tax return for the same car. For example, petrol, servicing, and insurance costs.

    To claim a deduction in your tax return, include the amount of your claim at Work-related car expenses. The Work-related car expenses calculator can help you work out the amount you can claim as a deduction.

    You can’t use the cents per kilometre or logbook methods to work out your claim for a:

    • motorcycle
    • vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more (such as a ute)
    • vehicle that can transport 9 passengers or more (such as a mini bus).

    For these vehicles, you can claim the actual expenses you incur for your work-related travel. This includes costs such as fuel, oil, insurance and loan interest along with the decline in value of the vehicle. You must keep receipts for all your expenses and records to show your work-related use of the vehicle. Although it is not a requirement to keep a logbook, it is the easiest way to calculate how you worked out your work-related use of the vehicle.

    To claim a deduction for actual expenses you incur for a vehicle not defined as a car, include the amount at Work-related travel expenses.

    Example: equipment not bulky

    Serena is a hairdresser and drives her own car to and from work each day. Serena chooses to take her kit home at the end of each day. Her kit contains all necessary hair tools and equipment for her to do her job.

    Her employer provides a secure storage area for all of the employees to store their personal equipment.

    Serena can't claim a deduction for the cost she incurs for home to work travel when she transports her kit home each day because:

    • the kit is not large enough to be considered bulky
    • her employer provides a secure storage area and it is Serena's choice to take her kit home each day.

    As a result, the travel is private travel between her regular place of employment and her home.

    End of example

     

    Example: travelling between alternative workplaces for the same employer

    Jesse is a makeup artist in a popular retail store. Sometimes his employer requires him to travel to other stores to complete makeup applications. After travelling between stores, Jesse travels directly home.

    Jesse can claim a deduction for the expenses he incurs to travel between:

    • his usual store and the other store
    • from the other store (which is an alternative workplace) to his home.

    Jesse can't claim a deduction for travel between his home and his regular workplace as this is private travel.

    End of example

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care (including school holidays and before and after school care) when you're working. It is a private expense, and the expenses have no direct connection to earning your income.

    Clothing and uniform expenses (including footwear)

    With a few exceptions, clothing can't be deducted as a work-related expense.

    You can't claim conventional clothing (including footwear) as a work-related expense, even if your employer requires you to wear it and you only wear these items of clothing at work.

    'Conventional clothing' is everyday clothing worn by people regardless of their occupation. For example, business attire worn by hairdressers and beauty professionals.

    You can claim a deduction for costs you incur to buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's in one of the following categories:

    • Protective clothing – clothing that has protective features of functions that you wear to protect you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, aprons or smocks worn to protect you and your clothes from harmful substances. Conventional clothes you wear at work are not regarded as protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work. This includes jeans, drill shirts, shorts, trousers, socks, closed shoes.
    • Occupation-specific clothing – clothing that distinctly identifies you as a person with a particular profession, trade or occupation. For example, a judge's robes or a chef's chequered pants. Items traditionally worn in a profession are not occupation-specific where the clothing is worn by multiple professions.
    • A compulsory uniform – clothing that your employer strictly and consistently enforces you wear by workplace agreement or policy and distinctly identifies either    
      • you as an employee working for a particular employer
      • the products or services your employer provides.
    • A non-compulsory uniform – clothing that your employer registers on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing with AusIndustry.

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

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Mike, a barber, has to wear shirts his employer provides. Each shirt has his employer's company logo embroidered on it. As part of his uniform, he also has to wear black pants and black shoes.

    Mike can't claim a deduction for the cost of:

    • the shirts as his employer provides these at no cost to him
    • buying or cleaning his black pants or shoes as they are conventional clothes, even though his employer tells him to wear them and he only wears them at work.

    Mike can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering the shirts as they are:

    • distinctive items with the employer's logo
    • compulsory for him to wear at work.
    End of example

     

    Example: protective clothing

    Thomas is a hairdresser at a local salon and specialises in colouring hair. He buys an apron to wear when he colours client's hair and only uses it at work.

    Thomas wears the apron to protect his clothing and skin from coming into contact with the hair dye.

    Thomas can claim a deduction for the cost of the purchase and laundering of the apron as it is worn to protect him from a specific risk of injury or illness at work.

    End of example

    Drivers licence

    You can't claim a deduction the cost to get or renew your drivers licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    Entertainment and social functions

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment, fundraising or social functions. This applies even if they are compulsory, non-compulsory or you discuss work matters at the event. Entertainment and social functions include the cost of:

    • work breakfasts, lunches or dinners
    • attendance at sporting events
    • gala or social nights
    • concerts or dances
    • cocktail parties
    • other similar types of functions or events.

    These are private expenses because these events do not have a direct connection to your work duties.

    You also can’t claim the cost of travelling to and from functions.

    Example: entertainment costs you can't claim

    Adam is a makeup artist. His employer encourages him to regularly attend social lunch events organised by his company. These events encourage employees to socialise and network with colleagues.

    Adam can't claim a deduction for the cost of attending the social lunch. This is a private expense.

    End of example

    Fines

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any fine you get when you travel to work, or during work. This includes parking fines and speeding fines.

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you need to wear them while working. These are private expenses.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective glasses if you wear them to reduce the real and likely risk of illness or injury while working. Protective glasses include anti-glare or photochromatic glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses or goggles.

    You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.

    Grooming expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though:

    • you may receive an allowance for grooming
    • your employer expects to be well groomed when at work.

    All grooming products are private expenses.

    Example: grooming expenses not claimable

    Georgie is a beautician. Her employer expects her to be well groomed at all times, including wearing makeup and having her hair up. Georgie buys makeup to wear at work and a hair care kit to help her style her hair into a bun.

    Georgie can't claim a deduction for the cost of her makeup or the hair care kit. These are a private expense.

    End of example

     

    Example: no deduction for hairdressing expenses

    Karen is a hairdresser. Her employer requires her to colour and set her own hair using the product brand sold in her salon.

    Although Karen's employer specifies the products to be used, Karen can't claim a deduction for the cost of the hair products. These are private expenses.

    End of example

    For more hairdresser and beauty professional expenses, see:

      Last modified: 18 Aug 2022QC 51239