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  • Deductions

    You may be able to claim deductions for your work-related expenses. Work-related expenses are expenses you incur on items used to earn your income as an employee travel agent.

    To claim a deduction for a work-related expense:

    • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
    • it must be directly related to earning your income
    • you must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

    If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

    You can use the ATO app's myDeductions tool to help keep track of your work-related expenses. It’s an easy way to capture information on-the-go and makes tax time quicker by uploading your deductions to your tax return.

    For a summary of common deductions for Travel agent employees, see Travel agent employees' deductions (PDF, 152KB)This link will download a file

    Or for a detailed list to help you work out if your expense is deductible, and how much you can claim, see:

    Common expenses A–G

    Details on claiming common employee travel agent expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work. These are private expenses even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using your car when you are travelling for work. For example, when you:

    • drive between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling to a second job with another employer
    • drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    You must keep records of your car use. If you drive a car you can use the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method to calculate your deduction. If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use of your car. If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct your actual expenses.

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care that you pay for when you are working. It is a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it is:

    • protective
    • occupation specific (and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing)
    • a uniform.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, mends or cleans your clothing.

    To claim a deduction for the cost of a uniform it must be unique, distinctive and compulsory to wear. Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that you must wear when you work is a uniform, so you can get a deduction for buying it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it. You can't claim for:

    • heavy duty conventional clothing such as jeans, drill shirts and trousers
    • running shoes or casual shoes.

    These are private expenses.

    Example: compulsory uniform with logo

    Danielle is a travel agent with a large company. She wears a black shirt with the company monogram supplied by her employer. It is compulsory for her to wear the shirt at work. The shirt is only worn by employees of the company and is not available for purchase by the general public. Danielle's trousers, skirts and shoes are items of ordinary (everyday) clothing.

    Danielle can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering and maintaining the shirt supplied by her employer. If she had to purchase the shirt, she would also be entitled to a deduction for its cost.

    However, because her trousers, skirt and shoes are of a conventional nature, Danielle can't claim for the cost of purchasing, laundering or dry-cleaning these.

    End of example

     

    Example: conventional clothing

    Lena wears a business suit to work. It is not compulsory for a staff member to wear a business suit, but the employer encourages staff members to do so.

    Lena can't claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing or cleaning these items because they are private in nature, even if her employer tells her to wear them.

    End of example

    See also:

    Educational and familiarisation travel

    It is common within the industry for sales staff to be offered discounted holiday packages and trips which are often referred to as ‘educationals’ or ‘familiarisations’.

    While the knowledge and experience gained on any overseas, interstate or local trip could be of benefit to, and may be utilised in their employment, that alone is not sufficient to make the expense deductible. If you claim a deduction for some or all the expenses of the trip, you need to be able to demonstrate that the trip was more than a holiday.

    The examples below give a guide in this regard. However, taking a photo journal, recording the trip in a diary and making some inspections of accommodation are unlikely to result in the travel being considered as work related rather than a private expense.

    Example: holiday private expense

    Con accepts a discount holiday package to the USA so he may recommend it from experience upon his return. Con takes the educational trip during his annual leave with his family. They go on sightseeing tours, shopping trips and tours to theme parks. Con won't be able to claim a deduction for his expenses as the trip is essentially a holiday and therefore a private expense.

    End of example

     

    Example: trip with necessary connection to work

    A wholesale travel company has developed a brand new tour. No brochures are currently available on the package so they will be relying solely on the retail sales consultants to sell the tour package in the first instance. TT Travel Pty Ltd has agreed to send one of their sales consultants to experience the tour first hand, take photographs with the company camera and provide a detailed report so the company can determine if they should market the tour, and if so, have material for that purpose. They have told sales consultant Jill that she has been selected. The wholesaler is paying for the flights, accommodation and any tour expenses, however Jill has to pay the taxes and for her meals. Jill’s trip has the necessary connection with her work so it would be considered that Jill is working rather than on a holiday. She can claim a deduction for her meals and taxes.

    End of example

     

    Example: portion of trip associated with holiday

    Candice went on a 14 day self-drive tour of Tasmania. Her employer provided educational leave and requested she attend a meeting in one town to obtain some information which would take up one day. Candice agreed to the meeting. She made her own travel arrangements. The trip is basically a holiday. However Candice can claim the travel expenses associated with the day she attended the meeting, that is, that night’s accommodation and meals for that day.

    End of example

     

    Example: claimable expense

    Aiko went on a package tour of Canada during her annual leave and took many photos to remind her of her trip. She showed her holiday snaps to co-workers upon her return. One photo was considered worth enlarging and displaying behind the counter. This alone is not sufficient to make the travel expenses deductible. However, Aiko is allowed a deduction for the cost of enlarging that photo and laminating it for display at work. If Aiko wanted to claim the cost of her other photos as a work-related expense she would have to demonstrate how she used them in her work – just having them in a photo album would not suffice.

    End of example

     

    Example: trip with employer's support

    Alphonso applied for three months' long service leave for the purpose of visiting Europe and seeing all those places he recommended to clients. His employer encouraged his holiday as it would provide him with some real life experience to discuss with clients. To show their support, Alphonso was granted an extra week’s leave on full pay. In the absence of further information to demonstrate the trip was something more than a holiday, Alphonso would not be allowed a deduction for his trip.

    End of example

    Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

    You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses. These are private expenses.

    See also:

    Grooming

    You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products. These are private expenses.

    For more employee travel agent expenses, see

      Last modified: 27 Mar 2019QC 19099