Hairdresser or beauty therapist
If you’re employed as a hairdresser or beauty therapist it pays to learn what you can claim.
To claim a deduction for work-related expenses:
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
- it must directly relate to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it.
You can only claim the work-related portion of an expense. You can't claim a deduction for any part of an expense that does not directly relate to earning your income.
You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.
You can’t claim the cost of normal trips between home and work, even if you have to work outside normal hours – for example, late night shopping or on the weekend.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own when you drive:
- directly between separate jobs on the same day – for example, from your hairdresser job to a second job with another employer
- to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day, such as between different salons owned by the same employer
- from home directly to an alternate workplace – for example, travelling from home to work at a salon other than your normal salon for the day.
If you claim car expenses, you can use the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method to calculate your deduction.
Clothing and laundry expenses (including footwear)
With a few exceptions, clothing can't be deducted as a work-related expense.
You can’t claim the cost to buy, hire, repair or clean conventional clothing you wear for work, even if your employer requires you to wear it and you only wear these items of clothing at work. 'Conventional clothing' is everyday clothing worn by people – for example, black pants or a black skirt.
You can claim the cost to buy, hire, repair or clean clothing if it is:
- protective – clothing that has protective features or functions which you wear to protect you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, an apron
- a compulsory uniform – clothing you are explicitly required to wear by a workplace agreement or policy, which is strictly and consistently enforced, and is sufficiently distinctive to your organisation
- non-compulsory uniforms that are registered with AusIndustry (check with your employer if you’re not sure).
You can’t claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for these expenses.
Tools and equipment
You can claim the cost of:
- tools or equipment you use for work, such as a wax pot, hair cutting tools or hair styling tools
- insurance for your tools and equipment
- repairs to your tools and equipment.
If a tool or equipment costs:
- more than $300 – you claim a deduction for the cost over a number of years (decline in value)
- $300 or less (and doesn't form part of a set that costs more than $300) – you can claim an immediate deduction for the whole cost.
You can’t claim tools and equipment supplied by your employer or another person.
If you also use the tools and equipment for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion. You also need to apportion the cost of repairs between private and work-related use.
Self-education and study expenses
You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job, and it:
- maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties – for example, an advanced colouring course for a hairdresser or training on current trends in make-up for a make-up artist.
- results in or is likely to result in an increase in income from your current employment.
You can’t claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help you get a new job. For example, if you’re a hairdresser you can’t claim the cost of study to enable you to become a make-up artist.
You can’t claim private grooming expenses, including hairdressing expenses, cosmetics, hair and skin care products or other beauty products, even though you may be expected to be well groomed at work. All grooming products are private expenses.
You can claim the work-related portion of other expenses that relate to your employment, including:
- union and professional association fees
- technical or professional publications
- personal protective equipment you buy, such as gloves, face masks, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray, given your duties require close proximity with customers.
You can’t claim private expenses such as music subscriptions, childcare, fines, flu shots and other vaccinations even if you’re required to have them for work.
You can’t claim a deduction if the cost was met or reimbursed by your employer.
This is a general summary only. For more information, go to ato.gov.au/hair or speak to a registered tax professional.
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