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Union fees, subscriptions to associations and bargaining agents fees

Deductions for union fees, subscriptions, business or professional associations and payment of a bargaining agent's fee.

Last updated 25 April 2023

For the industry you work in, you can claim a deduction for:

  • union fees
  • subscriptions to trade, business or professional associations
  • payment of a bargaining agent’s fee to a union for negotiations on a new enterprise agreement or award with your existing employer.

You can only claim payments of levies to a strike fund where the fund's sole use is to maintain or improve the contributors' pay.

You can't claim a deduction for the payment of levies to a strike fund if the fund provides financial support to members who are in financial hardship during a period of industrial action. The levies are not incurred in earning your assessable income.

You can also claim up to $42 per income year for the cost of each subscription you incur for membership of a trade, business or professional association that doesn't directly relate to earning your employment income.

Most unions and associations send their members a statement of the fees or subscriptions they pay.

Start of example

Example: subscriptions

Michael is an accountant and pays $700 a year for membership of his professional accounting body. He is also studying actuarial science and decides to join that professional body as a student member, which costs $200 per year.

Michael can claim a deduction for:

  • the full amount of $700 for the accounting body membership, because that relates to his employment
  • $42 of the actuarial professional membership, because it is not directly related to his employment.
End of example