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How to claim deductions

How to claim income tax deductions for work-related expenses and other expenses, and record your deductions.

Last updated 24 June 2024

How tax deductions work

You can claim some of your expenses as deductions in your tax return.

The expenses you can claim are mostly related to earning your income, but there are a few (such as donations) that aren't related to earning income.

Deductions reduce your taxable income.

It works like this:

your assessable income (money you earn from work or investments)

minus your allowable deductions (such as costs you incur to earn your income)

equals your taxable income (the amount you actually pay tax on).

Work-related expenses

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense:

  • You must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed.
  • The expense must directly relate to earning your income.
  • You must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

You claim these deductions in your tax return at the sections about work-related expenses. For instructions on how to complete your tax return, see Lodgment options for preparing your tax return.

If the expense was incurred for both work and private purposes, you only claim a deduction for the work-related portion.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for the expense or reimburses you for it. If we think your employer may reimburse you for an expense, we may check with them.

Other expenses you can claim

There are a few expenses you can claim as a deduction even though they don't relate to your work.

These include:

  • gifts and donations
  • expenses related to earning income from investments
  • personal super contributions
  • income protection insurance
  • the cost of managing your tax affairs.

You claim these in your tax return at the specific expense category (where available) or as an Other deduction. For instructions on how to complete your tax return, see Lodgment options for preparing your tax return.

Recording and claiming your expenses

When you claim a deduction you need to keep records that show you incurred the expense.

You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to help keep track of your:

  • work-related expenses (such as vehicle trips)
  • general expenses (such as gifts and donations).

You can upload these records or share them with a registered tax agent at tax time to make lodging your tax return easier.

Deductions in your occupation or industry

Our occupation and industry specific guides have information about income, allowances and deductions you may be eligible to claim. These guides are tailored to your occupation or industry.

Information in other languages

A summary of common expenses may be available in your language:

  1. Select your language from the other languages' homepage.
  2. Select the heading Individuals.
  3. Check the list to see if a summary is available.