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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common lawyer expenses for:

    Gifts and greeting cards

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of gifts and greeting cards you buy for clients. This is a private expense.

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products. These are private expenses.

    Hiring equipment

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

    Insurance expenses

    Insurance expenses aren't work-related expenses; however, you may still be able to claim a deduction on your tax return. You may be able to claim for the:

    • insurance premiums you pay to cover yourself for loss of income
    • cost of professional indemnity insurance.

    See also:

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing deductible clothing. This also includes laundromat and dry cleaning expenses.

    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 a normal working day, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

    You can't claim your meals or expenses incidental to your travel if you weren't required to travel for work, even if you received a travel allowance. For example, you can't claim a deduction for food and drink for mandatory long rest breaks.

    You can't claim more than one meal of each type in a 24-hour period, even though you may eat your meals at unconventional times. For example, you can't claim for two dinners in one day.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you travel for work – see Lawyers’ Travel expenses.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you work overtime – see Lawyers’ 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 award or enterprise agreement.

    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 payment summary or income statement.

    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 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.

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

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

    See also:

    For more lawyer expenses:

      Last modified: 12 Apr 2019QC 51251