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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on claiming common hospitality industry employee expenses for:

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the phone and internet costs associated with the work-related use 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.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    Sebastian uses his mobile phone for work purposes. He is on a set plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual calls.

    At least once a year, Sebastian prints out his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is calling for work – for example, his manager and his clients.

    Out of the 300 calls he has made in a four-week period, Sebastian works out that 30 (10%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    He works out his calls for work purposes as follows:

    • Total work calls ÷ Total number of calls = Work use percentage for calls
    • 30 ÷ 300 = 10%

    Sebastian can claim 10% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes, that is:

    • $49 × 0.10 = $4.90

    Sebastian worked for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), so he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    • 10.6 months × $49 × 0.10 = $51.94
    End of example

    Example: work and private use

    Sylvette uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work roster and develop the menu for the restaurant where she is the pastry chef. Sylvette uses her computer and the internet for work and private purposes.

    Sylvette's internet use diary showed 5% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 95% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    • $1,200 × 0.05 = $60 as work-related internet use.
    End of example

    See also:

    Protective items

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective items such as gloves, aprons or hair nets.

    To be considered protective, the item must provide a sufficient degree of protection against the risks of illness or injury you are exposed to in carrying out your work duties.

    You can't claim a deduction if the protective item is supplied by your employer or another person.

    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.

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education or study expenses if it's directly related to your current employment as a hospitality industry employee 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 is only related in a general way or designed to:

    • enable you to get employment
    • get new employment
    • open up a new income-earning activity.

    Self-education expenses include fees, travel expenses, 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: self-education not deductible

    Terri is a chef and wants to develop skills in other areas of the restaurant business as she'd like to open a restaurant of her own one day. Terri enrols in a barista training course and a bartending course.

    Even though there are some minor connections between her work in hospitality and her study, the duties she undertakes at her job and the knowledge she gains from her study are unrelated. Therefore, Terri can't claim a deduction for the costs of these courses.

    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 a hospitality industry employee.

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a hospitality industry employee.

    Example: work-related conference and exhibition

    Jan is a hospitality events manager at a tavern that regularly hosts conferences and weddings. Each year she attends an events management conference and exhibition to network with colleagues in the industry, share ideas and meet with clients to provide advice on the types of events and costings her venue offers.

    These events are related to Jan's work, to maintain or increase her knowledge, capabilities or skills she needs to earn her income in her current role. Jan can claim a deduction for the cost of attending the event.

    If Jan's employer pays for or reimburses her for the costs she incurred to attend the conference she can't claim a deduction.

    End of example

    For more hospitality industry employee expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Dec 2019QC 51240