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COVID-19 vaccination incentives and rewards for employees

An employer may provide different kinds of COVID-19 vaccination incentives and rewards for tax purposes.

Last updated 6 December 2021

Your employer may provide different kinds of COVID-19 vaccination incentives and rewards, which are treated differently for tax purposes.

Incentives and rewards you might receive

You may receive:

Cash payment

If you receive a cash payment from your employer for getting your COVID-19 vaccination, the amount:

  • will be included as salary or wages on your income statement
  • must be declared as income in your tax return.

Your employer will be required to withhold tax from the payment. Any tax withheld from the payment will be reported on your income statement.

Start of example

Example: Cash payment received

Miranda’s employer is offering their employees a $200 payment for getting both COVID-19 vaccinations. Miranda receives an extra $200 in one of her fortnightly pays during the 2021-22 income year. Tax is withheld from the payment and it is reported as salary or wages on her income statement at the end of the income year by Miranda's employer.

When Miranda lodges her 2021-22 tax return, the amount will be included as income and she will get a credit for the tax withheld from the payment.

End of example

For more information about the types of employment income you need to declare, see Employment income.

Non-cash benefits

If you receive a non-cash benefit from your employer such as a voucher, goods or services, or points in a reward scheme, you will not have to declare the amount in your tax return.

Some non-cash benefits may be reportable fringe benefits. Reportable fringe benefits need to be included in your tax return and may be used for:

  • determining your eligibility for certain government benefits and concessions, such as certain family assistance payments and tax offsets
  • determining your liabilities, such as for Medicare levy surcharge
  • working out certain amounts, for example your child support obligations.
Start of example

Example: Voucher received

After Scott receives both of his COVID-19 vaccinations, his employer gives him a $100 voucher for a sporting goods store. When he lodges his tax return at the end of the income year, Scott does not have to declare the value of the voucher ($100) as income in his tax return.

End of example

Paid leave

Paid leave will be treated like any other paid leave you take if you're granted the leave to:

  • get your COVID-19 vaccination
  • recover from any side effects after receiving the vaccination.

This means that the payments you receive while on leave are treated as salary or wages and included in your income.

Expenses you may incur

You may incur transport expenses to get to and from your COVID-19 vaccination.

You can’t claim a deduction if you incur expenses when you travel to get your COVID-19 vaccination. The expenses are not incurred in carrying out your employment duties. They are private expenses, even if the vaccination is a condition of your employment.

To find out more about deductions you're able to claim, see Deductions you can claim.