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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common hospitality industry employee expenses for:

    Gaming licence

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your special employees or gaming licence. You can't claim a deduction for the cost of getting your initial licence.

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses. These are private expenses.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though you may be paid an allowance for grooming and be expected to be well groomed. All grooming products are private expenses.

    Hiring equipment

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of hiring equipment used for work. If the equipment is also used for private purposes, you can't claim a deduction for that portion of the hire cost.

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing clothing you wear at work if it's:

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

    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: work clothing laundered and maintained by employer

    Cassidy is a waitress at a high end restaurant in the city. Her employer requires her to wear a white business shirt and either a black dress skirt or pants. Her employer provides Cassidy with these items and the outfit remains at the restaurant. Her employer launders these items to keep them in good condition.

    Cassidy can't claim a deduction for laundry costs as she does not incur any expense for the outfit.

    Even if Cassidy washes and maintains the outfit herself, she can't claim a deduction for laundry expenses. This is because these items are conventional clothes.

    End of example

    Example: uniform laundry expenses

    Sali works in a fast-food restaurant where he is required to wear a uniform supplied by his employer. He washes, dries and irons the uniforms twice a week. Sali works 48 weeks during the year.

    His claim of $96 for laundry expenses is worked out as follows:

    • Number of claimable laundry loads per week × Number of weeks = Total number of claimable laundry loads, that is (2 × 48 = 96)
    • Total number of claimable laundry loads × Reasonable cost per load = Total claim amount, that is (96 × $1 = $96)

    As his total claim for laundry expenses is under $150 ($96) Sali isn't required to keep evidence of his laundry expenses. However, if asked, he will still be required to explain how he calculated the claim.

    End of example

    See also:

    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.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you travel for work – see hospitality industry employees' Travel expenses.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you work overtime – see hospitality industry employees' Overtime meal expenses.

    Overtime meal expenses

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

    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 received 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 all your expenses.

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

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

    Example: overtime meal expenses

    Penny is a drinks waitress for a catering company that does corporate events. Penny is employed with the catering company part-time Thursday to Sunday each week between 10.00am and 9.00pm.

    Penny is asked to work for an additional three hours when a catering event runs overtime to help clean up and pack away the catering equipment. She is given a meal break and paid a meal allowance of $20 under her enterprise bargaining agreement.

    Penny takes her break while the event wraps up and buys and eats a meal costing her $21. She can claim a deduction for $21 as she incurs the expense on a meal she eats while on duty earning her employment income, and isn't private in nature.

    Penny takes a meal break but goes for a walk rather than buying and eating a meal, she then buys a meal on the way home after her overtime shift finishes. Penny can't claim a deduction for the meal she buys after the overtime shift finishes, as the expense was not incurred as part of earning her employment income.

    End of example

    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 hospitality industry employee expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Dec 2019QC 51240