Show download pdf controls
  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on claiming common media professional expenses for:

    Car expenses

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

    You can't claim a deduction when using a badged or unbadged vehicle provided by your employer, unless you were using the vehicle to perform your work duties and you covered the cost of fuel. You can't claim a deduction if you were reimbursed for any costs by your employer.

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

    • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from your job with a newspaper to your second job as a TV presenter
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, if you need to conduct an interview with a source at a location external from your workplace, or driving between two TV studios.

    To claim a deduction you must keep records of your car use. 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 valid logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use along with evidence of your car expenses.

    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.

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

    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 the actual expenses related to your work-travel.

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care 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 is:

    • protective
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform, if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

    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 your employer strictly requires you to wear when you work is a compulsory uniform, so you can claim a deduction for buying and repairing it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying plain clothing, such as black trousers, plain shirts or black shoes worn at work, even if:

    • you only wear it to work
    • your employer tells you to wear it.

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

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Mike is employed as a cameraman with a television network. His employer provides him with polo shirts with the network's logo on it that he is required to wear when performing work duties. He is also required to wear plain black pants and enclosed shoes to maintain a professional appearance. Mike can't claim a deduction for his work polo shirts as these are supplied by his employer and Mike doesn't incur any cost for these.

    Mike also can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning his black pants and shoes as they are conventional clothes.

    Mike can however, 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: conventional clothing

    Lena is employed as a radio presenter and wears her everyday clothing to work. Her employer has a dress code for all staff to follow when performing their work duties. Lena can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning the clothes because they are private in nature.

    End of example

    See also:

    Driver's licence

    You can't claim a deduction for obtaining or renewing your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    Entertainment and social functions

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur, if as a media professional you are required to attend a social function such as a dinner or similar event and perform work duties.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment. This includes the cost of business lunches and attendance at sporting events, gala 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 deductible

    Edwina, a reporter for a major magazine, is responsible for the magazine's social and society pages. In order to gather the necessary information for her articles, she is required to attend a number of social functions each year, regarded as important to city socialites.

    Edwina can claim a deduction for the cost of attending these functions due to the specialised nature of her work as a media professional.

    End of example


    Example: entertainment costs not deductible

    Rachael incurs the expense to attend a media professional's breakfast function that is held quarterly to encourage media professionals to meet socially and network with colleagues. Rachael can't claim a deduction for the cost of attending the breakfast.

    End of example

    First aid courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you, as a designated first aid person, are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

    For more media professionals' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 13 Feb 2020QC 51250