Show download pdf controls
  • Deductions

    You may be able to claim deductions for your work-related expenses. Work-related expenses are expenses you incur on items used to earn your income as an IT professional.

    To claim a deduction for a work-related expense:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must be directly related to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

    If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

    You can use the ATO app's myDeductions tool to help keep track of your work-related expenses. It’s an easy way to capture information on-the-go and makes tax time quicker by uploading your deductions to your tax return.

    For a summary of common deductions for IT professionals, see IT professionals deductions (PDF, 258KB)This link will download a file.

    Or, for a detailed list to help you work out if your expense is deductible, and how much you can claim, see:

    Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common IT professional expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work. These are private expenses even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours.

    The limited exception to this is if you must carry bulky tools or equipment between home and work. Then, you can claim a deduction only if:

    • your employer requires you to transport the tools or equipment for work, that is you don't carry them as a matter of personal choice or convenience
    • the tools or equipment are essential to earning your income
    • there's no secure area for storing them at your workplace
    • the equipment is bulky – meaning it's heavy and/or cumbersome.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using your car when you're travelling for work. For example, when you:

    • drive between separate jobs on the same day
    • drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    You must keep records of your car use. If you drive a car you can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method to calculate your deduction. If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use of your car. If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct your actual expenses.

    Example: travel between workplaces

    Blake is an ICT manager at a major telecommunications company in the city. In his job he must consult with clients about current communication systems to work out what enhancements need to be made. He uses his own car to travel to these meetings and goes directly home after the meetings because they finish late.

    Blake can claim the cost of travelling from his city office to his client meetings and then to his home. He can't claim travel from home to his city office as this is considered to be general travel to Blake's normal place of employment.

    End of example

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care that you pay for when you're working. It's a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific (and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing)
    • a uniform.

    To claim a deduction for the cost of a uniform it must be unique, distinctive and compulsory to wear. Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that you must wear when you work is a uniform, so you can get a deduction for buying it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it. You can't claim for:

    • heavy duty conventional clothing such as jeans, drill shirts and trousers
    • running shoes or casual shoes.

    These are private expenses.

    Example: claiming clothing expenses

    Danielle is an IT manager with a large company. She wears a black shirt with the company monogram supplied by her employer. It's compulsory for her to wear the shirt at work. The shirt is only worn by employees of the company and isn't available for purchase by the general public. Danielle's trousers, skirts and shoes are items of ordinary (everyday) clothing.

    Danielle can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering and maintaining the shirt supplied by her employer. If she had to purchase the shirt, she would also be entitled to a deduction for its cost.

    However, because her trousers, skirt and shoes are of a conventional nature, Danielle can't claim for the cost of purchasing, laundering or dry-cleaning these

    End of example

    See also:

    Entertainment expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment. This includes the cost of business lunches and attendance at sporting events, galas or social nights, concerts or other similar types of functions or events. This applies even if you discuss business matters at the occasion.

    Example: entertainment costs

    Rachael attends a social breakfast organised by an IT professional association. These breakfasts are held every other month to encourage IT professionals to meet socially with colleagues. Rachael isn't entitled to a deduction for the cost of attending the breakfast.

    End of example

    For more IT professional expenses, see:

      Last modified: 08 Apr 2019QC 26103