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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common nurse, midwife and direct carer expenses for:

    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:


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

    Laundry and maintenance

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

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

    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: uniform laundry expenses

    Linda wears a uniform of a white blouse and navy skirt supplied by her employer to work each day. She washes, dries and irons the uniforms as a separate load of washing twice a week. Linda works 48 weeks during the year.

    Her 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 Linda's total claim for laundry expenses is under $150 ($96) she isn't required to have and provide written evidence of her laundry expenses. Although she isn't required to substantiate her claim for laundry, if asked, she will still be required to explain how she calculated her claim.

    End of example


    Example: work clothing laundered and maintained by employer

    Sebastian is a theatre nurse and is required to wear theatre scrubs while working. The scrubs are supplied by his employer at no cost. Sebastian wears plain clothes to and from work and changes into his scrubs when he arrives at the hospital.

    When he finishes at the end of each shift he places the dirty scrubs in to a washing hamper that is collected and laundered by a professional cleaning company.

    As Sebastian doesn't incur any costs for cleaning the scrubs he wears at work, he can't claim a deduction.

    Sebastian can't claim a deduction for washing the plain clothes that he wears on the way to work before his shift starts as these are not a uniform.

    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.

    See also:

    Overtime meal expenses

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

    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.

    See also:

    For more nurses, midwifes and direct carer expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 20811