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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on claiming common teacher and education professional expenses for:

    Teaching aids

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of teaching aids used for work. Teaching aids you buy must be used as part of your teaching job. If the aid you buy can be used for both work and another purpose you can only deduct the portion used for work.

    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 teacher or education professional.

    Tools and equipment

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

    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; depreciation).

    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.

    See also:

    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.

    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.

    If you spent and are claiming a deduction up to the reasonable amount for meals we have set (on a meal by meal basis), you don't have to get and keep receipts.

    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 spent and are claiming:

    • a deduction 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.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically entitle you to 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.

    Example: more than the reasonable allowance

    Melanie goes interstate for training for seven nights. She has received a travel allowance covering the cost of meals, accommodation and incidental expenses. Her airfares are paid directly by her employer.

    The total deduction Melanie wishes to claim for her travel expenses is more than the reasonable allowance. This means she must keep a travel diary, her receipts and any other written evidence she receives to support her total claim for meals, accommodation and incidental expenses.

    End of example

     

    Example: less than the reasonable allowance

    Joe works for a university. Joe's employer provides him with an accommodation allowance covering accommodation when he works away from home for a few days. Joe doesn't receive an allowance for meals or incidental expenses.

    The amount Joe claims as a deduction for the accommodation costs he pays is less than the reasonable allowance amount. This means he doesn't have to keep records of his accommodation expenses. However, he does have to keep records and other written evidence to support any deductions he claims for his meals and incidental expenses.

    End of example

    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 payment summary or income statement, 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 working as a teacher or education professional.

    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.

    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.

    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 teachers and education professionals expenses, see:

    Find out about teachers and education professionals':

      Last modified: 10 Apr 2019QC 22569