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  • Common expenses G–O

    Details on claiming common real estate employee expenses for:

    Gifts

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of gifts bought for work purposes if, you're a salesperson or property manager entitled to receive your income from commission or both commission and retainer.

    Gifts you can claim include:

    • a Christmas hamper
    • a bottle of whisky
    • wine
    • gift vouchers
    • a bottle of perfume
    • flowers
    • a pen set.

    You can't claim a deduction if you earn a fixed income and you are not entitled to earn a commission.

    You can't claim a deduction for gifts that are in the form of entertainment – for example, attending a live sporting event.

    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 real estate employee.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, 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.

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing and drying 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 expenses) 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 uniform clothing

    Chloe is employed as a real estate agent. Her employer provides and requires staff to wear polo shirts with the company’s name and logo on them. Chloe is also required to wear plain black pants or a skirt to work.

    Chloe can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering her shirts.

    Even though Chloe’s employer requires her to wear black pants and skirts to work she can't claim a deduction for laundering these items. They are considered conventional clothing and are not unique or distinctive to her employer.

    Chloe works for 40 weeks of the financial year and washes these items twice a week in a mixed load with other clothes.

    Chloe calculates her laundry claim as follows:

    2 × 40 weeks × $0.50 per load = $40.

    As her total claim for laundry expenses is under $150 ($40) Chloe isn't required to keep evidence of her laundry expenses. However, if asked, she will still be required to explain how she calculated the claim.

    End of example

    See also:

    Marketing equipment

    You can claim a deduction for the work-related portion of marketing equipment you use, such as the work-related portion of cameras used for property photos.

    See also:

    Real estate employees' Tools and equipment

    Newspapers

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of the work-related portion of newspapers containing property sections.

    If there's a sufficient connection between the duties carried out by you as a real estate employee and the content of the newspapers, the portion of the cost of relevant newspapers related to work is allowable.

    Example: claiming newspapers

    Gerry, a real estate employee, subscribes to the daily newspaper he shares with his family. The property section of the paper only appears in the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday papers.

    Gerry can claim a deduction for a portion of the cost of the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday papers.

    He can't claim a deduction for the cost of the newspapers for the other days of the week as these aren't used for income-earning activities. The expenditure on newspapers on those days is considered to be private.

    End of example

    For more real estate employee expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 24417