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  • Flight attendant

    If you’re a flight attendant 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. (See Note)

    You can only claim the work-related part of expenses. You can't claim a deduction for any part of the expense that relates to personal use.

    Note: You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to keep track of your expenses and receipts throughout the year.

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for travel expenses if you are required to travel overnight to perform your work duties. 'Overnight' can be taken to mean a mandatory rest break after being on duty and before recommencing duty, that is of sufficient length for you to sleep (around 7 hours or more) and would usually involve you taking up accommodation for that purpose.

    Travel expenses could include meals, accommodation, fares and incidental expenses that you incurred, and your employer has not provided or reimbursed you.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer does not automatically entitle you to a deduction. You need to be able to show you were away overnight, you spent the money, and the travel was directly related to earning your income.

    You can’t claim expenses for travelling between your home and the place of departure.

    Meal expenses

    You can claim a deduction for meals when you travel away from home overnight for work.

    You can claim a deduction for cost of overtime meals on those occasions where:

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

    You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of meals eaten during a normal working day as it is a private expense, even if you received an allowance to cover the meal expense.

    Self-education expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job – for example, updating required first aid certification.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your study is only related in a general way or is designed to help get you a new job – for example, training to become an air traffic controller while you are employed as cabin crew.

    Clothing and grooming expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job.

    You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning plain clothing worn at work, even if your employer tells you to wear it – for example, plain, black shoes. However, if your employer has strictly enforced uniform policy that stipulates the characteristics of shoes you must wear – for example, minimum and maximum requirements for heel height and circumference, you may claim a deduction for the purchase of these shoes.

    You can’t claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though you may be paid an allowance for grooming and be expected to be well groomed. All grooming products are private expenses.

    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.

    Other common deductible work-related expenses

    Other expenses you can claim a deduction for include:

    • luggage and bags used for work-related purposes
    • the work-related portion of phone expenses if you have to make phone calls or send texts for work
    • union and professional association fees
    • professional publications
    • visa application fees when you are required to enter a country as part of your job.

    See also

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      Last modified: 15 Oct 2021QC 59240