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  • Common expenses H–P

    Details on claiming common employee travel agent expenses for:

    Industry promotion and entertainment expenses

    It is common for travel agents to be invited to functions to view presentations of new tours and destinations. The cost of travel to attend the function would generally be deductible unless entertainment is provided at the function.

    The 'provision of entertainment' generally means:

    • entertainment by way of food, drink, recreation
    • accommodation or travel to do with providing entertainment by way of food, drink or recreation.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment. This includes the cost of business lunches and attendance at sporting events, gala or social nights, concerts or other similar types of functions or events. This applies even if you discuss business matters at the occasion.

    Example: entertainment not provided

    Jana attended a promotional function put on by African Safari Tours to promote the company’s tours. No food or drinks were provided at the function. Jana is entitled to a deduction for her travel costs.

    However, if something more substantial than light refreshments is served, entertainment is being provided and the travel costs are not deductible.

    End of example

     

    Example: entertainment provided

    Jana attended a Gala evening provided by her company to celebrate a successful year and present awards to their high achieving staff. The Gala included a three course meal, alcoholic drinks and a popular band for entertainment during the evening. Jana is not entitled to a deduction for her travel costs as this would be regarded as the provision of entertainment.

    End of example

    Laundry and maintenance

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing deductible clothing. This also includes laundromat and dry cleaning expenses.

    See also:

    Passport application and renewal fees

    You can't claim a deduction for acquiring a passport, because this primarily relates to your personal right to travel overseas. Passport expenses are generally private in nature and not deductible.

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim the work-related portion of your phone and internet costs if your employer requires you to use your own phone or electronic device.

    You need to keep records to show 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.

    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 is 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 240 (80%) of the individual call expenses billed to him are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

    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 × $49 × 80% = $415.52

    End of example

     

    Example: work and private use

    Sylvette uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and manage her appointments. 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 × 40% = $480 as work-related internet use.

    End of example

    See also:

    For more employee travel agent expenses, see

      Last modified: 27 Mar 2019QC 19099