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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common performing artist expenses for:

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have content sufficiently connected to your employment as an employee performing artist, for example, the magazine Encore.

    Theatre and film tickets

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of theatre and film tickets if the show has content directly related to your current work. You can't claim the cost of tickets for shows you attend for general interest, entertainment or other private purposes.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as an employee performing artist, such as guitars, speakers, lights and microphones.

    If a tool or item of equipment cost you $300 or less, and you use it for work only, you can claim a deduction for the whole cost in the year you purchased it. Otherwise, you can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is; decline in value).

    If the item is part of a set that together cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the set over the life of the asset.

    If you also use the tool or item of equipment for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    If you bought the tool or item of equipment part way through the year, you can only claim a deduction for the portion of the year that you owned it.

    You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairs to tools and equipment.

    You can't claim a deduction for tools and equipment that are supplied by your employer or another person.

    See also:

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur on accommodation, meals and incidentals when you travel for work and sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties. For example, travelling interstate to shoot an advertisement.

    You can't claim a deduction for accommodation where you have not incurred any accommodation expenses, because you:

    • sleep in accommodation provided by your employer
    • are reimbursed for any costs by your employer.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically mean you can claim a deduction. In all cases, you need to be able to show:

    • you were away overnight
    • you spent the money
    • the allowance was included in your assessable income
    • the travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    If you spent and are claiming a deduction up to the reasonable amount for meals we have set (on a meal by meal basis), you don't have to get and keep receipts.

    Each year, we set a reasonable amount for travel expenses. Generally, you are required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction for travel expenses. However, if you 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.

    The reasonable amount is only used to work out if an exception applies. They aren't the amount you can claim as a deduction. You can only claim the amount you've actually spent.

    Example: reasonable allowance amount and no deduction claimed

    Khalid is employed as a performer in a touring production of a children's ice skating musical. He travels from his home base of Adelaide to Melbourne, then Sydney, then Brisbane, then Perth and home to Adelaide with the tour. The total time he is employed on tour is 78 days. Khalid's employer organises and pays for his flights between cities. His employer pays him a travel allowance of $255 per night for accommodation, meals and incidentals. The allowance isn't shown on his income statement.

    The travel allowance amount paid to Khalid is less than the reasonable allowance amount and he spends all of the travel allowance on his travel expenses.

    Khalid chooses not to include his allowance on his tax return because:

    • it's less than the reasonable allowance amount
    • it's not shown on his income statement
    • he spends it all to cover his travel expenses.

    This means Khalid can't claim a deduction for his expenses on his tax return.

    End of example

     

    Example: less than the reasonable amount with deduction claimed

    Veronique is employed by an opera company to perform in the major capital cities in their latest nationwide production. Veronique's employer pays for all the airfares and accommodation expenses. Veronique is paid an allowance for meals and incidentals of $375 per week while she is on tour. The total allowance of $8,250 for the 22 weeks of the tour is shown on her income statement.

    Veronique spends less than the reasonable amount for meals and incidentals per day so she can claim a deduction for the amount she spent and she isn't required to get and keep receipts for the expenses.

    Veronique can’t claim anything for accommodation because her employer paid for it.

    End of example

    See also:

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. If the amount you paid is shown on your income statement or payment summary, you can use it to prove your claim.

    See also:

    Working from home

    You can claim a deduction for the additional running expenses of an office or a study at home that you use to earn your income working as an employee performing artist.

    Running expenses include:

    • decline in value of home office equipment
    • the cost of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings
    • heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning expenses

    If you are working from home as a result of COVID-19, we have specific information about expenses – see Working from home during COVID-19.

    Only the additional running costs incurred as a result of working from home are deductible. For example, if you work in your lounge room when others are also present, the cost of lighting and heating or cooling that room is not deductible because there is no additional cost for those expenses as a result of you working from home

    You can’t claim occupancy expenses, such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums. In limited circumstances, you may be able to claim a deduction if your home office is considered to be a 'place of business'. If your only income is paid to you as an employee, you aren't considered to be carrying on a business.

    Diary records noting the time the home office was used for work are acceptable evidence of a connection between the use of a home office and your work. You'll need to keep diary records during a representative four-week period.

    The Home office expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for home office expenses.

    See also:

    For more performing artists expenses, see:

    Find out about performing artists':

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 51260