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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common office worker 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:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though you may be paid an allowance for grooming and be 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: laundering a deductible compulsory uniform

    Giorgio is employed as a financial accountant in a large consulting firm. His employer supplies collared work shirts with the company’s logo embroidered on them. Giorgio is required to wear the shirts and business pants when at work.

    Giorgio can claim the cost of laundering the shirts he is provided.

    However, he can't claim the cost of or laundering of his business pants as they are conventional in nature, even if he only wears them to work.

    Giorgio washes his work shirts three times per week in a combined load and worked for 46 weeks during the financial year. He applies a reasonable basis to calculate his claim:

    Three washes per week × $0.50 per load × 46 weeks in the year = $69

    As his total claim for laundry expenses is under $150 ($69) Giorgio isn't required to keep evidence of his laundry expenses. However, if asked, he will still be required to explain how he calculated the claim.

    End of example

     

    Example: conventional clothing not deductible

    Shauna is employed as an administration officer in a manufacturing company. Her employer requires all staff to maintain a professional appearance in the workplace. Shauna buys professional attire that she only wears to work.

    Shauna can't claim a deduction for the cost of or laundering of these clothes as they are conventional in nature.

    End of example

    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 receive 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:

    • Overtime meals
    • TD 2019/11 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime amounts for the 2019–20 income year?

    For more office workers' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 18955