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Seminars, conferences and training courses

Deductions for attending seminars, conferences, and first aid or other training courses connected with your work.

Last updated 25 April 2023

What you can claim

You can claim a deduction for the cost of attending seminars, conferences, or training courses to maintain or increase the knowledge, capabilities or skills you need to earn your income in your current employment.

You can claim:

  • fares to attend the venue where the seminar, conference or training course is held (unless it is held at your normal workplace)
  • registration costs
  • accommodation and meals, but only if you need to travel and stay away from home overnight to attend the event.

Reducing your deduction for private components of the event

If there is a private component to attending the seminar, conference, or training course, you may not be able to claim all of your expenses as a deduction.

If the private component is incidental to the event (for example, a catered lunch or reception for delegates), you can still claim all of your expenses as a deduction.

Start of example

Example: private component is incidental

Gary, a qualified architect, attends an 8-day work-related conference in Hawaii on modern trends in architecture. One day of the conference involves a sight-seeing tour of the island, and a networking game of golf is held on the final afternoon.

As his main purpose is work-related, Gary can claim a deduction for all of his expenses (conference fees, air fares, accommodation, and meals).

End of example

If your main purpose is private and the conference, seminar or training course is merely incidental, you can only claim the direct costs of the conference, seminar, or course (for example, registration costs).

Start of example

Example: seminar is incidental to trip

Jodie is holidaying in Cairns when she becomes aware of a half-day work-related seminar nearby. She attends the seminar.

Jodie can claim a deduction for the cost of attending, but she can't claim her airfares to and from Cairns, or her accommodation and meals, as the primary purpose of her travel is private.

End of example

If there is a private component and your attendance involves travel, you may need to reduce your deduction to exclude the private part of your trip.

Start of example

Example: dual-purpose trip

Megan flies to London for a 10-day work-related conference. She stays over for an extra 15 days to sightsee.

As the sightseeing is not an incidental part of the conference or the trip as a whole, Megan can only claim a deduction for:

  • the work-related portion of the airfares, which is 40% (10 days / 25 days)
  • the accommodation and meals for the 10 days she attends the conference.

Megan can't claim a deduction for her accommodation and meals for the 15 days of private travel.

End of example

First aid courses

You can claim a deduction if it is necessary for you, as a designated first aid person, to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency situations at work.

You can't claim a deduction if:

  • your employer pays for the training or reimburses you
  • you're required to have a first aid qualification before you can be employed in an occupation. This is because you incurred the expense to enable you to start your employment, not during your employment.
Start of example

Example: first aid course

Leanne is a flight attendant. She is required to hold a first aid qualification as she may need to apply first aid in the event of an emergency.

Leanne can claim a deduction for the cost of a first aid course.

End of example