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  • Apprentice

    If you’re an apprentice it pays to learn how to get your tax right.

    Tip: Include all your income on your tax return – including cash!

    You can claim a deduction for expenses incurred as an apprentice if:

    • you have spent the money yourself and haven't been reimbursed
    • it directly relates to earning your income
    • you have a record to prove it.

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

    Study and training support loans

    You don't need to include your loan amounts on your tax return. You should advise your employer if you have a study or training support loan so they can ensure the correct amount of money is withheld (if required).

    You can't claim a deduction for any voluntary or compulsory repayments that you make.

    Car expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using your own car while preforming your duties. This includes travel between different work locations, including for different employers.

    You generally can't claim the cost of trips between home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours, as these are private in nature. There are limited circumstances where you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work. The cost of these trips is deductible only if:

    • your employer requires you to transport the equipment for work
    • the equipment was essential to earning your income
    • there was no secure area to store the equipment at the work location, and
    • the equipment is bulky – at least 20 kg or cumbersome to transport.

    If you claim car expenses, you must:

    • keep a logbook of your work trips, or
    • be able to show us your claim is reasonable if you use the cents per kilometre method (for claims up to 5,000 km only).

    Your vehicle is not considered to be a car if it is a vehicle with a carrying capacity of:

    • one tonne or more such as a ute or panel van
    • nine passengers or more such as a minivan.

    If you drive one of these vehicles you must keep all of your receipts and claim the actual expenses that relate to work. For example, fuel, insurance, servicing costs registration and depreciation. A logbook or similar will assist you to determine you work related usage. You can't use the cents per kilometre method for these vehicles.

    Education expenses

    If your employer pays for your apprenticeship course fees outright, or reimburses you upon completion of your course, you can’t claim a deduction.

    You can claim a deduction for work-related self-education expenses that have a sufficient connection to your current work activities, such as your apprenticeship course. You can also claim a deduction for the cost of travel from home to your place of education and back, or your workplace to your place of education and back. You must keep records of your travel expenses to claim a deduction.

    Tools and equipment expenses

    You can claim a deduction for tools or equipment you buy and use for your job.

    If a tool or item of work equipment you used for work:

    • costs more than $300 – you can claim a deduction for the cost over a number of years
    • costs $300 or less – you can claim an immediate deduction for the whole cost.

    If you use the tools or equipment for both private purposes and work-related purposes, you can't claim a deduction for your private use. For example, if you have a tool set that you use for private purposes half of the time, you can only deduct 50% of the cost.

    If the tools or equipment are supplied by your employer or another person, you can't claim a deduction.

    Clothing expenses

    You can claim a deduction for:

    • the cost of buying, mending and cleaning uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job – for example, a uniform your employer requires you to wear
    • protective clothing your employer requires you to wear – for example, hi-vis vests, steel capped boots and safety glasses.

    You can't claim a deduction for plain clothing worn at work even is your employer tells you to wear it or you only ware it for work. For example, workwear or tradies wear that is not designed to provide you with sufficient protection from the risk of injury at your work site.

    Other common deductible expenses

    Other work-related expenses you can claim include:

    • protective equipment such as sunscreen, sunhats and sunglasses
    • union and professional association fees
    • phone expenses related to phone calls or texts you have to send for work.

    Remember, you can only claim the work-related part of the expense.

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      Last modified: 30 Jun 2021QC 59240