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Adult industry expenses A–F

Last updated 5 June 2023

Advertising

You can claim a deduction for the total cost of advertising your services in the adult industry.

Agency commissions and agency fees

You can claim a deduction for commission payments you make to an agency.

You can't claim a deduction for the upfront costs of joining or using the services of an employment and recruitment agency or an agent to get work.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays the commission, upfront fees, joining fees or search fees to an agency.

Example: agency commission

Zahra is an employee exotic dancer through an agency. She works one night at a club and is paid $700. Zahra pays commission of $48 to the agency.

Zahra must declare $700 as income in her tax return. Zahra can claim a deduction of $48 for the commission she pays. She incurs the fees in the course of earning her wages.

End of example

Audition expenses

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of preparing for or attending auditions. You incur these costs in the process to get work and not as an employee undertaking your employment activities.

Car expenses

You can't claim car expenses as a deduction for the normal trips between your home and regular place of work, even if you:

  • live a long way from your usual or regular workplace
  • work outside normal business hours.

In limited circumstances, you can claim the cost of trips between home and work where you had shifting places of employment. That is, you have no fixed place of work and you continually travel from one work site to another before returning home.

You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase agreement) when you drive:

  • directly between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling to a second job with another employer
  • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, if you travel from client to client
  • from home directly to an alternative workplace – for example, travelling from home to a workplace that is not your regular work location.

To claim a deduction, you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the logbook method or the cents per kilometre method to work out your deduction.

If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a valid logbook to help you work out the percentage of work-related use along with written evidence of your car expenses.

If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to be able to show how you work out your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

To claim a deduction in your tax return, include the amount of your claim at Work-related car expenses. The Work-related car expenses calculator can help you work out the amount you can claim as a deduction.

You can’t use the cents per kilometre or logbook methods to work out your claim for a:

  • motorcycle
  • vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more (such as a ute)
  • vehicle that can transport 9 passengers or more (such as a minibus).

For these vehicles, you can claim the actual expenses you incur for your work-related travel. This includes costs such as fuel, oil, insurance and loan interest along with the decline in value of the vehicle. You must keep receipts for all your expenses and records to show your work-related use of the vehicle. Although you are not required to keep a logbook, it is the easiest way to calculate your work-related use of the vehicle.

To claim a deduction for actual expenses you incur for a vehicle not defined as a car, include the amount at Work-related travel expenses.

Example: shifting workplace

Lara is an employee exotic dancer. At the start of each shift, she receives a list of clients and their addresses. Lara uses her own car to travel from home to each of the addresses on her list.

Lara can claim a deduction for the car expenses she incurs for the travel:

  • from her home to the first client
  • between the clients' addresses
  • from the last client to her home.

Lara has shifting places of work. Her travel expenses from the time she leaves home to start her shift until she returns home at the end of her shift she incurs in earning her income.

End of example

 

Example: home to work travel

Ben is an employee escort. Generally, Ben's appointments are organised in advance. During shifts when he has no appointment, he is on call. If a client calls his employer during a shift Ben doesn't have an appointment, they call him and let him know where and when he needs to meet the client. Ben only has an appointment to see one client per shift.

Ben can't claim a deduction for expenses he incurs in travelling from his home to his appointments. He does not incur the expenses in the course of earning his income, they are private.

Although Ben often attends different locations to carry out his duties, he doesn't have shifting workplaces. This is because Ben doesn't continually travel to different appointments before he returns home at the end of his shift.

End of example

Child care

You can't claim a deduction for child care (including school holidays and before and after school care) when you’re working. It’s a private expense, and the expenses have no direct connection to earning your income.

Clothing and uniform expenses (including footwear)

With a few exceptions, clothing can't be deducted as a work-related expense.

You can't claim conventional clothing (including footwear) as a work-related expense, even if your employer requires you to wear it and you only wear these items of clothing at work. 'Conventional clothing' is everyday clothing worn by people regardless of their occupation – for example, jeans or business attire.

You can claim a deduction for costs you incur to buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's in one of the following categories:

  • protective – clothing with protective features and functions you wear to protect you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, steel-capped boots, fire-resistant clothing, or boiler suits that protect conventional clothing. Conventional clothes you wear at work are not protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work. This includes jeans, drill shirts, shorts, trousers, socks and closed shoes.
  • occupation specific – clothing that distinctly identifies you as a person with a particular profession, trade or occupation. For example, a judge's robes or a chef's chequered pants. Items traditionally worn in a profession are not occupation-specific where the clothing is worn by multiple professions.
  • a compulsory uniform – clothing that your employer strictly and consistently enforces you wear by workplace agreement or policy and distinctly identifies either  
    • you as an employee working for a particular employer
    • the products or services your employer provides
  • a non-compulsory uniform – clothing that your employer registers on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing with AusIndustry.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing.

Example: occupation specific clothing

Candice is an employee dancer at an adult entertainment bar. Her employer requires her to wear costumes that are not conventional in nature when she is working.

Candice can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and cleaning these items as they are occupation specific.

End of example

Consumables

You can claim a deduction for consumable items you use solely for earning your income as an employee in the adult industry. This includes items such as condoms, lubricants, gels, oils and tissues.

Drivers licence

You can't claim a deduction for the cost to get or renew your drivers licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

Entertainment and social functions

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment, fundraising or social functions. This applies even if they are compulsory, non-compulsory or you discuss work matters at the event. Entertainment and social functions include the cost of:

  • work breakfasts, lunches or dinners
  • attendance at sporting events as a spectator
  • gala or social nights
  • concerts or dances
  • cocktail parties
  • other similar types of functions or events.

These are private expenses because these events do not have a direct connection to your employment activities.

You also can’t claim the cost of travelling to and from functions.

First aid courses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you are both:

  • a designated first aid person
  • need to complete a first aid training course to assist in emergency work situations.

You can’t claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

Fitness expenses

You can't claim a deduction for fitness expenses, such as gym fees, gym clothes or equipment to maintain your personal fitness. This is the case even if you need to pass medical examinations and fitness tests to maintain your employment.

For more adult industry worker expenses, see:

QC18626