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  • Work-related expenses

    We are paying close attention to people who over-claim work-related expenses.

    If your clients are claiming work-related expenses, remind them they need to satisfy our three golden rules.

    • They must have spent the money and not been reimbursed.
    • It must be directly related to earning their income.
    • They must have a record to prove it.

    This tax time, we ask you to pay particular attention to the following:

    • In some instances your clients may not need receipts, but you will still need to be able to show they spent the money and how you calculated their claim. Exceptions to the record keeping rules are there to make things simpler – they do not allow your clients to claim an automatic deduction up to the specified amount where the money has not been spent.
    • If an expense relates to work and personal use, your client must apportion their use on a reasonable basis and only claim the work-related portion.
    • The total expense of a tool or item of work equipment that cost more than $300 should not be claimed as a deduction in a single year. It must be depreciated over its effective life.

    You can check if your clients made higher than expected work-related expense claims last year by downloading their pre-fill report.

    Help your clients get their work-related expense claims right by:

    • talking to them about their current circumstances
    • having them consider if their employer would confirm that the expenses were directly related to earning their income and that they were not reimbursed
    • advising them that receiving an allowance from their employer does not automatically entitle them to a deduction.

    Your clients can keep track of their deductions using the myDeductions tool in the ATO app. They can email you their data so you can include it in their tax return.

    See also:

    Last modified: 30 May 2019QC 45702