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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common performing artist expenses for:

    Gifts

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of gifts such as flowers or alcohol for fellow performers, producers or directors as it's a private expense.

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of tinted contact lenses to alter eye colour or special spectacle frames if it's required for a role.

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses. These are private expenses.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of:

    • a particular hairstyle if it's required for a role
    • hairdressing specifically to maintain a required hair length or style as part of a costume for continuity purposes
    • stage makeup, including the cost of cleansing materials for removing stage makeup.

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products not relating to your role or costume. These are private expenses.

    Example: grooming costs

    Benji is shooting a scene for a movie. He is required to grow his hair and dye it dark brown for the movie. Benji is particular about his hairdresser and won't use the hairdresser provided by his employer. He pays for his personal hairdresser and the costs aren't reimbursed by his employer.

    Benji can claim the costs of his hairdresser as the hairdressing is particular to his role.

    End of example

     

    Example: can't claim grooming costs

    Kate is a singer who performs weekends at local restaurants. Kate likes to look professional and pays a professional make-up artist before each performance. She also gets a spray tan each fortnight.

    Kate can't claim a deduction for these expenses. They are private expenses that are not essential to her employment duties.

    End of example

    Health and fitness expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of health and fitness, because these expenses are considered private. This includes:

    • gym fees
    • the cost of a program specifically designed to manage weight
    • the cost of normal food substitutes or the cost of food for special dietary purposes
    • the cost of vitamins, minerals, or sports supplements, such as protein shakes.

    If you can show that your job requires you to maintain a very high level of fitness, you may be able to claim a deduction. The strenuous physical activity must be an essential and regular element of your duties such as a trapeze artist or tumbler with a circus. Fitness expenses include gym membership and the cost of travelling directly from work to a fitness activity. You can't claim sports clothing as fitness expenses, even if you can show that you're required to perform strenuous physical activities. Sports clothing is conventional in nature.

    Example: deductible fitness expenses

    Nola is a trapeze artist and tumbler with a circus. She has a gym membership and also takes regular pilates and yoga classes. She also trains and rehearses with her company to develop new trapeze and tumbling routines, and performs six nights a week.

    Nola would be able to claim her fitness costs. Her job is to rehearse and perform trapeze and tumbling acts for the circus which is a strenuous physical activity that is essential and regular part of her duties. Maintaining an extremely high level of physical fitness is essential to her job.

    End of example

     

    Example: deductible fitness expenses

    Octavia is a professional ballerina and is required to maintain an extremely high level of fitness. She has a gym membership and trains daily. Octavia also rehearses with her company to develop new performances. Octavia performs in theatres Thursday to Sunday most weeks.

    Octavia can claim a deduction for her fitness costs. Her job requires her to rehearse and perform regularly which is a strenuous physical activity that is essential and regular to her duties.

    End of example

     

    Example: private fitness expense

    Alyce works as a hens show dance teacher on weekends. Alyce has a membership at a private gym and goes there three times a week to maintain her fitness.

    Alyce can't claim the cost of gym fees as this is a private expense. While Alyce needs to keep a level of fitness for her employment, her role doesn't require strenuous physical activity as part of the performance of her duties.

    End of example

    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.

    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:

    Multimedia

    You can claim a deduction for the work-related part of the cost of multimedia, if it's directly related to your current employment as an employee performing artist. For example, you can claim a deduction for downloading music files or tapes used for rehearsals.

    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:

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

    For more performing artists expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 51260