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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common real estate employee expenses for:

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have content sufficiently connected to your employment as a real estate employee.

    Tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as a real estate employee.

    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: claiming proportion of depreciation

    Jessica buys a camera for $400 to take photographs of client properties for advertising purposes. Jessica and her children also use the camera to take family photographs.

    Jessica can claim a deduction for the proportion of the decline in value based on the work use of the camera.

    End of example

    See also:

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur on accommodation, fares, meals and incidentals such as parking fees and tolls, when you travel for work and sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties. For example, travelling to a remote area to inspect a property provided the cost was incurred while carrying out your work duties.

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

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

    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 allowance was included in your assessable income
    • 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.

    See also:

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees 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:

    Working from home

    You can claim a deduction for the additional running expenses of an office or a study at home that you use to earn your income as a real estate employee.

    Running expenses include:

    • decline in value of home office equipment
    • the cost of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings
    • heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning expenses
    • internet.

    If you are working from home as a result of COVID-19, we have specific information about expenses – see Working from home during COVID-19.

    Only the additional running costs incurred as a result of working from home are deductible. For example, if you work in your lounge room when others are also present, the cost of lighting and heating or cooling that room is not deductible because there is no additional cost for those expenses as a result of you working from home.

    You can’t claim occupancy expenses, such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums. In limited circumstances, you may be able to claim a deduction if your home office is considered to be a 'place of business'. If your only income is paid to you as an employee, you aren't considered to be carrying on a business.

    To work out your home office expenses you can either use a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour for each hour that you work from home or calculate your actual expenses.

    Diary records noting the time the home office was used for work are acceptable evidence of a connection between the use of a home office and your work. You'll need to keep diary records during a representative four-week period.

    The Home office expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for home office expenses.

    See also:

    For more real estate employee expenses, see:

    Find out about real estate employees':

      Last modified: 04 May 2020QC 24417