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  • myTax 2019 Other work-related expenses

    This section is about any other work-related expenses you incurred as an employee and have not already claimed anywhere else on your tax return.

    On this page:

    Essentials

    Remember, to claim a work-related deduction:

    • 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.

    If your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300, you must have written evidence to prove your claims.

    You can claim

    Other work-related expenses include:

    • union fees and subscriptions to trade, business or professional associations
    • overtime meal expenses, provided that
      • you received a genuine overtime meal allowance from your employer that was paid under an industrial law, award or agreement
      • you purchased and consumed a meal during your overtime
      • you have included the amount of the meal allowance as income at Salary, wages, allowances, tips, bonuses etc in the Income statements and payment summaries section and
      • if your claim was more than $30.60 per meal, you have written evidence such as receipts, that shows the cost of the meals.
        (An amount for overtime meals that has been included as part of your normal salary and wages – for example, under a workplace agreement – is not an overtime meal allowance.)
       
    • professional seminars, courses, conferences and workshops
    • reference books, technical journals and trade magazines
    • the work-related portion of tools and equipment and professional libraries; you may be able to claim an immediate deduction for an item that cost $300 or less; otherwise, you claim a deduction for the decline in value of an item over its effective life; for more information, see Guide to depreciating assets
    • the work-related portion of items that protect you from the risk of injury or illness posed by your work or your work environment, such as hard hats, safety glasses and sunscreens (but not protective clothing and footwear, which you claim at Work-related uniform, occupation specific or protective clothing in the Deductions section.)
    • the work-related portion of the following costs
      • interest on money borrowed to buy a computer
      • repair costs for the computer
      • the decline in value of the computer (you may need to make a balancing adjustment if you no longer own or use the computer and you previously claimed a deduction for its decline in value; for more information, see Guide to depreciating assets)
      • internet access charges
      • phone calls
      • phone rental if you can show you were on call or were regularly required to phone your employer or clients while away from your workplace
      • the decline in value of your home office furniture and fittings
      • home office heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning costs.
       

    For your home office expenses, you can either:

    • keep a diary of the details of your actual costs and your work-related use of the office
    • use a fixed rate of 52 cents per hour for heating, cooling, lighting and the decline in value of furniture in your home office.

    To work out your claim, you can use the Home office expenses calculatorThis link opens in a new window.

    See also:

    You cannot claim

    You cannot claim a deduction for:

    • the cost of entertainment, fines and penalties
    • private expenses, such as child care expenses and fees paid to social clubs
    • the decline in value of laptops, portable printers, personal digital assistants, calculators, mobile phones, computer software, protective clothing, briefcases and tools of trade primarily for use in your employment if the item was provided to you by your employer, or some or all of the cost of the item was paid or reimbursed by your employer, and the benefit was exempt from fringe benefits tax.

    Generally, you cannot claim a deduction for occupancy expenses such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and insurance.

    Depreciation and capital expenses

    Individual taxpayers generally can't immediately deduct spending on assets costing more than $300; instead you claim the cost over time, reflecting the asset's depreciation (or decline in value).

    Depreciation claims need to meet the following conditions:

    • you must apportion your claim to reflect the percentage that the asset was used for work purposes
    • you must have directly incurred the cost of the asset and it was not reimbursed.

    For more information, see Guide to depreciating assets.

    You can use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to work out any decline in value deduction as well as any deductible balancing adjustment when you stop holding a depreciating asset.

    The tool can be accessed when you add your other work-related expenses.

    The following video shows you how to use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool.

    Media: How to use the Depreciation and capital allowance tool
    http://tv.ato.gov.au/ato-tv/media?v=bd1bdiuboi7hkiExternal Link (Duration: 03:18)

    You can watch How to use the Depreciation and capital allowance toolExternal Link in full screen on atoTV.

    For further information about depreciation and assets you may be able to claim for, see Guide to depreciating assets.

    Expenses relating to foreign employment income

    If you received assessable income from your work as an employee outside of Australia that is shown on an income statement/PAYG payment summary - foreign employment, you must claim any work-related expenses you incurred in earning that income at this section provided you have not already claimed the expense at another section.

    Do not show at this section

    Do not show the following at this section:

    • If you received assessable foreign employment income that is not shown on an income statement/PAYG payment summary - foreign employment you must claim your deductions against that income at the Foreign income, assets and entities section and select Foreign employment.
    • Any balancing adjustment profit. Show this at the Other income section. If you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool, the amount will automatically be shown at this section.

    Completing this section

    You may need:

    • statements from your bank, building society or credit union
    • receipts, invoices or written evidence from your supplier or association
    • other written evidence.

    We pre-fill your tax return with other work-related expense information provided to us. Check for other work-related expenses not pre-filled and ensure you add them.

    1. For each other work-related expense not pre-filled in your tax return, select Add and:
      • enter Your description. To assist in record-keeping, add a short description of your expense
      • enter the Amount.
       
    2. Select Save.
    3. Select Save and continue when you have completed the Deductions section.

    Notes: If you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool, fields containing information from the tool cannot be directly adjusted in myTax. To make any adjustments to this information, or to add new assets to the tool, select the 'Use the depreciation and capital allowances tool' link .

    Record keeping

    Make sure you keep accurate records of other work-related expenses to make future claims.

    There is more information on record keeping and written evidence in Keeping your tax records.

    Managing your deductions

    Are you always on the go? Save time and keep your tax organised with the ATO app's myDeductions tool.

      Last modified: 26 Jun 2019QC 59112