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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on claiming common professional sportsperson expenses for:

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the phone and internet costs associated with the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

    You need to keep records to show your work use if you claim more than $50 on phone and internet expenses.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer provides you with a phone for work and pays for the usage, or if your employer reimburses you for the costs.

    You can't claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because they aren't work-related calls.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    Sebastian uses his mobile phone for work purposes. He is on a set plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual calls.

    At least once a year, Sebastian prints out his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is calling for work – for example, his manager, the club and his coach.

    Out of the 300 calls he has made in a four-week period, Sebastian works out that 90 (30%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are private and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    Sebastian was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months).

    Sebastian calculates his calls for work purposes as follows:

    Total work calls ÷ Total number of calls = Work use percentage for calls

    (90 ÷ 300 = 30%)

    Sebastian can claim 30% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes

    ($49 × 0.30) = $14.70

    Since Sebastian was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    10.6 months × $14.70 = $155.82

    End of example


    Example: work and private use

    Sylvette uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails, training schedules and to access the WAFL website and player portal. Sylvette uses her computer and the internet for work and private purposes.

    Sylvette's internet use diary showed 20% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 80% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    • $1,200 × 0.20 = $240 as work-related internet use.
    End of example

    See also:

    Player manager fees

    Existing playing contracts

    Under existing playing contracts, you can claim a deduction for all of the following costs:

    • settling disputes relating to existing terms or conditions of the contract which result in payments of revenue amounts, including the cost of representation
    • changing or renegotiating the conditions of a contract, if the existing agreement allows for this
    • renewing or extending a fixed-term agreement, if the existing agreement allows for this.
    New playing contracts

    You may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of fees paid to a manager to negotiate a new playing contract, depending on the nature of the playing contract and competition rules.

    You should seek advice about your personal circumstances.

    Professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for membership fees for your relevant players' or professional association 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:

    Repairs to tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion.

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education and study expenses if it's directly related to your current employment as a professional sportsperson and it:

    • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
    • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

    You can't claim a deduction if the self-education or study:

    • doesn't have a connection with your current employment or
    • only relates in a general way to your current employment or profession
    • enables you to get employment or change employment

    Self-education expenses include fees, travel expenses (for example, attending a lecture interstate), transport costs, books and equipment. You usually have to reduce your self-education expenses by $250 – that is, the first $250 of expenses for self-education aren't deductible.

    See also:

    Self-education and study and training support loans

    You can't claim the repayment of loans you receive to help pay for your self-education or study expenses. This includes:

    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans
    • VET Student Loans (VSL)
    • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loan (SSL)
    • Trade Support Loan (TSL) Program

    You may be able to claim a deduction for course or tuition fees where the self-education expenses are directly related to your current employment as a professional sportsperson.

    See also:

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a professional sportsperson.

    Example: When you can claim a deduction for a training course

    Sally plays professional rugby union for a national team. Sally’s club (her employer) encourages all of their players to attend an annual specialised training course on physical endurance and nutrition. The training course is run locally and costs $2,000 to attend. The club doesn’t pay for or reimburse their players the cost to attend.

    The course has a direct connection to Sally’s income-producing activities and will help her maintain a specific set of skills or knowledge for her role.

    Sally can claim a deduction for the cost to attend the training course

    End of example


    Example: When you can’t claim a deduction for a training course

    Jamie is a professional soccer player nearing the end of his career. He would like to transfer into a coaching role once he finishes playing professionally. Jamie decides to start attending coaching seminars and training courses to build his skills and knowledge.

    Jamie can't claim a work-related deduction for attending such events as they don’t directly relate to his current income producing activities.

    End of example

    Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if you're required to work in the sun and use these items to protect yourself while at work.

    For more professional sportsperson expenses, see:

      Last modified: 13 Feb 2020QC 36159