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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common professional sportsperson expenses for:

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as a professional sportsperson.

    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.

    Example: When you can claim a deduction for equipment

    Julian is employed as a professional basketball player and represents Australia at the national level. At the recommendation of his team’s trainer he purchases a set of resistance bands from his local sports store as a means of recovery and warm down while he travels for work. Julian leaves them in his locker at the club when he isn’t travelling as he has a separate set he uses at home.

    Julian can claim a work-related deduction for the purchase of the bands as he uses them for a work-related purpose. The bands cost less than $300 so Julian doesn’t need to work out the decline in value of the asset and can claim an immediate deduction for the total cost.

    End of example

     

    Example: When you can claim a deduction for equipment

    Olivia is a professional soccer player in the W-League. She purchases a set of markers and a soccer ball for $100 to use at home between seasons. She uses this equipment to maintain her basic skills before official preseason conditioning starts. She also allows family members to use the equipment for personal enjoyment. Olivia can claim a deduction for the cost of the equipment as she uses this equipment to maintain her skills for a work-related purpose. Olivia will need to apportion the cost of the equipment as it has been used by her family for personal entertainment.

    Olivia determines the equipment was used 70% of the time for work purposes. Therefore, Olivia can claim a deduction for 70% of the cost of the equipment. That is $70.

    End of example

    See also:

    Training and research material

    You may be able to claim the costs of training and research material if this is an essential part of your official training plan.

    Only claim the portion of the expense that relates to your work use. Seek advice about your personal circumstances.

    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.

    If your travel didn't involve an overnight stay, you can't claim for meals even if you received a travel allowance.

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

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

    Upgrade costs for accommodation and travel are tax deductible, where the club has paid the basic cost and you opted for an upgrade at your own expense.

    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 travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    Each year, we set a reasonable amount for travel expenses. Generally, you're 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.

    Example: When you can claim a deduction for travel expenses

    Ruth is a professional tennis player and represents Australia. She competes in both the Grand slam tournaments and WTA tournaments. Ruth is required to purchase her own flights and food while on tour. Her accommodation and transport to venues is provided by her employer.

    Ruth travels to Canada to compete in the Rogers Cup. She can claim a deduction for the costs she incurs for her flights, meals and incidentals while travelling to compete in the tournament.

    Ruth can only claim the expenses she incurs while travelling for work purposes. If Ruth extends her stay to take a short holiday she needs to apportion her expenses accordingly.

    If Ruth is away from home for more than six nights she needs to keep a travel diary (unless an exception applies).

    End of example

     

    Example: When you can’t claim a deduction for travel expenses

    Daniel is a professional golfer and travels to America to compete in a tournament. Daniel's employer and sponsors pay for all of his accommodation, meals and incidental expenses. Daniel wins and decides to take his family on a holiday to South America to celebrate directly after the tournament. Daniel spends $1,000 on flights for his family to South America and $2,000 for three nights’ accommodation in a luxury hotel.

    Daniel can't claim the travel expenses for the South American trip as it is private in nature.

    End of example

    See also:

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is considered to be a private expense, because travel insurance invariably covers items that are generally private in nature and can't be claimed as a deduction.

    For more professional sportsperson expenses, see:

    Find out about professional sportspeople:

      Last modified: 13 Feb 2020QC 36159