• Airline employees

    Other work-related expenses

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    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    Did you have any other expenses relating to your work as an employee?

    Here is a list of other expenses commonly incurred by airline employees. For more information about the deductibility of these expenses, see question D5 in Individual tax return instructions.

    You cannot claim costs met by your employer or costs that are reimbursed, see Reimbursements.

    Answering machines, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunications equipment

    For information about claiming deductions for the decline in value of answering machines, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunications equipment used for work, see Capital allowances.

    Calculators and electronic organisers

    For information about claiming deductions for the decline in value of calculators and electronic organisers used for work, see Capital allowances.

    Capital allowances

    You can claim a deduction, called a capital allowance, for the decline in value of equipment used for work. If the equipment is also used for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the decline in value.

    You cannot claim a deduction if the equipment is supplied by your employer or any other person.

    Generally, the amount of your deduction depends on the effective life of the equipment.

    Equipment costing $300 or less

    If you purchased equipment costing $300 or less and you use it mainly for work, you can claim an immediate deduction for the work-related portion of the cost.

    You cannot claim an immediate deduction if:

    • the equipment is part of a set that you buy in the same income year and the total cost of the set is more than $300 (the set rule), or
    • the equipment is one of a number of identical or substantially identical items you buy in an income year and the total cost of the items is more than $300 (the multiples rule).

    Low-value pool

    You also have the option to pool equipment costing less than $1,000 and equipment written down to less than $1,000 under the diminishing value method. You work out a deduction for the decline in value of equipment in this low-value pool by a single calculation using set rates.

    For more information on claiming a deduction for a low-value pool, see question D6 in Individual tax return instructions and make your claim at item D6 on your tax return.

    Equipment for which you may be able to claim capital allowance includes:

    • answering machines, telephones, facsimile machines, mobile phones, pagers and other telecommunications equipment
    • calculators and electronic organisers
    • luggage and luggage trolleys, if you are a flight attendant, pilot or flight engineer and use them for work
    • tools and equipment
    • a professional library.

    For more information about claiming deductions for the decline in value of equipment, see the Guide to depreciating assets 2015.

    Cash or bar shortages

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of making up cash or bar shortages.

    Child care

    You cannot claim a deduction for child care expenses. These are private expenses even if you need to pay for child care to go to work.

    Fines

    You cannot claim a deduction for fines imposed:

    • under a law of the Commonwealth, a state, a territory, a foreign country, or
    • by a court (for example, a fine you received for speeding when driving between jobs).

    First aid courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you, as a designated first aid person, are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.

    Glasses and contact lenses

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying prescription glasses or contact lenses as it is a private expense relating to a personal medical condition.

    Pilots and flight engineers can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses used to combat the harsh working conditions inside a cockpit. Other airline employees, who are required to work outdoors and are exposed to risk of eye damage from exposure to sunlight, may claim the cost of protective sunglasses. See Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens.

    Grooming including hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products

    You cannot claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products as they are private expenses.

    Generally, skin moisturisers and hair conditioners are private expenses and are not deductible unless they are used to combat the dehydration effects of pressurisation and lack of humidity in an aircraft cabin, and where it is of critical importance to your employer that you maintain a well-groomed and well-presented image. For more information, see Moisturisers and hair conditioners.

    Insurance of tools and equipment

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of insuring your tools and equipment to the extent that you use them for work.

    Interest costs

    You can claim the cost of interest on money borrowed to purchase work-related equipment. If the equipment was also used for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the interest.

    Licences

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of renewing your work-related business licences but not your driver licence. You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of getting your initial licence.

    Luggage

    Flight attendants, pilots and flight engineers can claim a deduction for the decline in value of their luggage used for work, see Capital allowances. Ground engineers cannot claim a deduction for luggage.

    Luggage trolleys

    Flight attendants, pilots and flight engineers can claim a deduction for the decline in value of luggage trolleys that are used for work, see Capital allowances.

    Meals

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of meals eaten during a normal working day as it is a private expense, even if you receive an allowance to cover the meal expense. For information about claiming deductions for the cost of meals eaten during overtime, see Overtime meals.

    Medical examinations for licence renewal

    You can claim a deduction for medical examination costs associated with the renewal of your work-related business licences.

    Moisturisers and hair conditioners

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of rehydrating moisturisers and rehydrating hair conditioners used to combat the abnormal drying of skin and hair when working in the pressurised environment of an aircraft, where it is of critical importance to your employer that you maintain a well-groomed and well-presented image.

    Only the work-related portion of the amount spent on such items for work purposes is deductible.

    Airline check-in counter employees who are also required to be well-groomed cannot claim a deduction for moisturisers and hair conditioners as their working conditions are not considered to be harsh or abnormal.

    Newspapers

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of newspapers as it is a private expense.

    Overtime meals

    An amount for overtime meals that is part of your normal salary and wage income is taxed as part of your income. It is not an 'overtime meal allowance'.

    You must include amounts you received as overtime meal allowance at item 2 on your tax return.

    You can claim for overtime meal expenses only on those occasions when:

    • you worked overtime
    • your employer paid you an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement.

    You will need written evidence if your claim per meal is more than the rate stated in Taxation Determination TD 2014/19 - Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2014-15 income year?External Link

    Read this determination together with Taxation Ruling TR 2004/6 – Income tax: substantiation exception for reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expensesExternal Link.

    If you received an award overtime meal allowance which is not shown on a payment summary, you may choose not to include the allowance as income at item 2 on your tax return and not claim a deduction, as long as:

    • the allowance does not exceed the Commissioner’s reasonable allowance amounts
    • you have fully spent it.

    Removal and relocation

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost involved in taking up a transfer in an existing employment or taking up new employment with a different employer.

    Repairs

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of repairing tools and equipment for work. If you also used the tools or equipment for private purposes, you cannot claim a deduction for that part of the repair cost.

    Salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance

    You can claim a deduction for the premium paid for salary guarantee and loss of licence insurance if a benefit paid under a policy is assessable income.

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of attending seminars, conferences and training courses that are sufficiently connected to your work activities.

    Stationery

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of street directories, logbooks, diaries, pens and other stationery to the extent that you use them for work.

    Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if the nature of your work requires you to work in the sun for all or part of the day and you use these items to protect yourself from the sun while at work (for example, you work on the tarmac at an airfield servicing, refuelling or loading aircraft).

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have a content specifically related to your employment as an airline employee.

    Telephone calls, telephone rental and connection costs

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of work-related telephone calls.

    You can claim a deduction for your telephone rental if you can show that you are on call or are regularly required to telephone your employer while you are away from your workplace. If you also use your telephone for private purposes, you must apportion the cost of telephone rental between work-related and private use.

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of connecting a telephone, mobile phone, pager or any other telecommunications equipment as it is a capital expense.

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of an unlisted telephone number (silent number) as it is a private expense.

    Timepieces and watches

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying or maintaining timepieces as this is a private expense.

    Tools and equipment

    For information about claiming deductions for the decline in value of tools and equipment used for work, see Capital allowances.

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees. If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary, you can use it to prove your claim. You can claim a deduction for a levy paid in certain circumstances – for example, to protect the interests of members and their jobs.

    You cannot claim a deduction for:

    • joining fees, or
    • levies or other amounts you paid to assist families of employees suffering financial difficulties as a result of employees being on strike or having been laid off.
      Last modified: 29 May 2015QC 44177