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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. 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.

    See also:

    Grooming

    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 be expected to be well groomed. All grooming products are private expenses.

    Health and fitness

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of fitness, as maintaining a very high level of fitness and physical activity is an essential element to you gaining income. Expenses you may be able to claim include:

    • gym fees
    • gym and training equipment that cost $300 or less.

    Generally, if the cost of an asset is $300 or less, you may claim the full cost of the item at the end of the income year. If the item costs more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is; decline in value).

    The following expenses are not allowable health and fitness deductions:

    • 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.

    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 the premiums were deductible and the payments replace income.

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing 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) 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: 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

    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 in the course of 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.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for meals when you travel for work – see Professional sportspersons’ Travel expenses.

    Medical expenses

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

    For more professional sportspersons' expenses, see:

      Last modified: 13 Feb 2020QC 36159