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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on claiming common real estate employee expenses for:

    Parking fees and tolls

    You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls on work-related trips between two separate places of work.

    You may not have to get and keep written evidence for these expenses if they're small or hard to get, for example, if you pay cash in a roadside parking meter.

    You can't get a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of employment. This is a private expense.

    See also:

    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 a detailed pattern for 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 you're travelling for work. This is because they're not 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's calling for work – for example, his manager and his clients.

    Out of the 300 calls he has made in a four-week period, Sebastian works out that 30 (10%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    Calls for work purposes:

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

    30 ÷ 300 = 10%

    Sebastian can claim 10% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes

    $49 × 0.10 = $4.90

    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 × $4.90 = $51.94

    End of example

    Example: work and private use

    Sylvette uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and managing her appointments and property listings. Sylvette uses her computer and the internet for work and private purposes.

    Sylvette's internet use diary showed 40% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 60% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

    $1,200 × 0.40 = $480 as work-related internet use.

    End of example

    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 real estate employee 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 course:

    • doesn't have a connection with your current employment
    • 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.

    Example: self-education not related to current employment

    Deakin is employed as an accredit real estate agent. He wants to improve his knowledge and skills and has decided to complete a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Law).

    Deakin can't claim a deduction for the course and associated expenses as it does not directly relate to his current employment as a real estate agent.

    End of example

    Example: employment related course deductible

    Christine is employed as a real estate agent. To retain her accreditation she enrols in a law of subdivision contracts CPD course. Christine’s employer doesn't pay for the course or reimburse her for the costs she incurs to attend the course.

    Therefore, Christine can claim a deduction for the course and associated expenses as the course enables her to maintain or improve the skills and knowledge specific to her current income-producing activities.

    End of example

    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)
    • the Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loans (SSL)
    • the 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 real estate employee.

    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 real estate employee.

    Example: training courses paid for by employer

    Aiden is employed as a property manager. He is the designated first aid officer at work. His employer pays for him to complete a first aid course as well as the required refresher training.

    Aiden can't claim a deduction as he doesn’t incur the expense.

    End of example

    Example: conference paid for by employer

    Jack is employed as a real estate agent. His employer requires him to attend the Real Estate Institute QLD summit and pays his registration fee.

    Jack can't claim a deduction as he did not incur the expense.

    End of example

    For more real estate employee expenses, see:

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 24417