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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common professional sportsperson expenses for:

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you need to wear them while working. These are private expenses.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses if you wear them to reduce the risk of illness or injury while working as a professional sportsperson. Protective glasses include anti-glare or photochromatic glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses or goggles

    You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.

    See also:

    Grooming expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though:

    • you may be paid an allowance for grooming
    • your employer expects you to be well groomed when at work.

    All grooming expenses and products are private expenses.

    Income protection insurance premiums

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of income protection, sickness and accident insurance premiums.

    Payments made to you under an income protection, sickness or accident insurance policy will be assessable income where both the:

    • premiums are deductible
    • payments replace income.

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur to wash, dry and iron clothing you wear at work if it's:

    • protective (for example, a hi-vis jacket)
    • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing such as jeans or general fitness gear
    • a uniform either non-compulsory and registered with AusIndustry or compulsory.

    This also includes laundromat and dry-cleaning expenses.

    We consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

    • $1 per load if it only contains clothing you wear at work from one of categories above
    • 50c per load if you mix personal items with work clothing from one of the categories above.

    You can claim the actual costs you incurred for repairing 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 calculate and be able to show how you worked out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

    Example: When you can claim a deduction for laundering protective clothing

    Lauren is a professional Australian Rules football player. She buys sports skins to wear during training and games to reduce the risk of injury. Lauren can claim a deduction for the cost she incurs to buy and clean her skins as they are considered protective clothing.

    Lauren washes these items three times per week separate from other clothing. Lauren’s employer requires that she trains and plays with the club for 30 weeks of the financial year.

    Lauren applies a reasonable basis to calculate the claim for laundering her skins:

    Three washes per week × $1 per load × 30 weeks in the year = $90

    As Lauren’s total claim for work-related expenses is less than $150, she doesn’t need to keep written records but she will need to be able to explain how she calculated her claim if asked.

    End of example


    Example: When you can’t claim a deduction for laundering conventional clothing

    Sam is a professional tennis player who works for Australian Pro Tennis Stars Pty Ltd. Samantha purchases a tracksuit that she sometimes wears post-match and after training. Samantha’s tracksuit is dark grey with no logos or emblems. The tracksuit isn't considered a compulsory or non-compulsory uniform. Samantha wears the tracksuit out of personal choice and is considered conventional clothing.

    Samantha can't claim the cost of buying or laundering her tracksuit as it is private in nature.

    End of example

    See also:

    Legal expenses, fines and penalties

    Fines and penalties for on-field conduct and legal expenses, including those relating to a tribunal decision, are generally tax deductible to the player, where they result from their performance as a player and as part of the sporting activity.

    However, fines, penalties and legal expenses for off-field breaches of conduct are not tax deductible.

    You can't claim a deduction for fines or other amounts payable for an offence against an Australian or foreign law.

    Luggage expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing luggage to the extent of the work-related use of the luggage. For example, to transport gear used to play an interstate game. This includes:

    • travel bags
    • overnight bags
    • suit packs
    • navigation bags
    • suitcases
    • luggage trolleys.

    You have to apportion the expenses if you also use the items for private purposes.

    Example: claiming luggage

    Shane purchased luggage valued at $250. He uses the luggage for work purposes only. Since the luggage didn't cost more than $300, Shane is entitled to an immediate deduction of $250.

    End of example

    Meal and snack expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of food, drink or snacks you consume during your normal working hours, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

    You can't claim your meals or expenses incidental to your travel if you weren't required to stay away from home overnight in the course of carrying out your duties (travel for work), even if you received a travel allowance.

    See also:

    Medical expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for medical expenses. This is a private expense.

    Music streaming services, CDs, audio books or podcasts

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of music streaming services, CDs, audio books, podcasts or devices that you use at work. Even if they're used to keep you motivated or occupied at work, these items aren't essential to earning your income. They are private expenses.

    For more professional sportspersons' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 19 Feb 2021QC 36159