Details on claiming common adult industry worker expenses for:
- Taxi, ride-share, public transport and car hire
- Tools and equipment
- Travel expenses
- Union and professional association fees
You can claim a deduction for transport costs if you travel in the course of performing your work. For example, taking a taxi from your regular workplace to another work location.
You can’t claim a deduction for travel expenses between home and work, these are private expenses.
You can't claim a deduction if your employer reimburses you for these expenses.
You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment if you use them to perform your duties as an employee in the adult industry. For example, fetish equipment, adult novelties and vibrators.
You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.
If the tool or equipment cost you $300 or less, you can claim for the full amount in the year you buy it, if:
- you use it mainly for work purposes
- it's not part of a set that together cost more than $300.
You can claim a deduction for the cost over the life of the item (that is, decline in value) if the tool or equipment:
- cost more than $300
- is part of a set that together cost more than $300.
If you bought the tool or item of equipment part way through the year, you can only claim a deduction for the decline in value for the period of the income year that you own it. To work out your deduction use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool.
You can also claim a deduction for the cost of repairs to tools and equipment that you use for work purposes.
You can’t claim a deduction for tools and equipment that your employer or a third party supplies for use.
Example: cost of tools and equipment $300 or less
Esther is a roaming performer at expos, festivals and parties. She buys unique props ($150) and costumes ($100) that she uses in her performances. Esther only uses these costumes and props at work.
Ester can claim an immediate deduction for the expenses she incurs for the equipment as:
- the equipment cost less than $300 and doesn't form part of a set
- she requires the equipment to perform her work-related duties
- she only uses these items at work.
You can claim a deduction for travel expenses you incur when your work requires you to both:
- travel for work
- sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties.
Expenses you can claim include your accommodation, meals and expenses which are incidental to the travel. For example, when you travel interstate to attend a work-related conference, seminar or training course.
You can't claim a deduction for travel expenses where you don’t incur any expenses, because you either:
- sleep in accommodation your employer provides
- you eat meals your employer provides
- your employer or a third party reimburses you for any costs you incur.
Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically mean you can claim a deduction. In all cases, you must be able to show:
- you were away overnight
- you spent the money
- the travel directly relates to earning your employment income
- how you work out your claim.
If you receive a travel allowance you must include it as assessable income in your tax return unless all the following apply:
- the travel allowance is not on your income statement or payment summary
- the travel allowance doesn't exceed the Commissioner's reasonable amount
- you spent the whole amount on deductible accommodation, meal and incidental expenses, if applicable.
The Commissioner's reasonable amount is set each year. The amount is only used to determine whether an exception from keeping written evidence applies for the following expenses which are covered by a travel allowance:
You don't need to keep written evidence such as receipts if both of the following apply:
- you received a travel allowance from your employer for the expenses
- your deduction is less than the Commissioner's reasonable amount.
If your deduction is for more than the Commissioner's reasonable amount you need to keep written evidence for all your travel expenses, not just the amount over the Commissioners' reasonable amount.
Even if you're not required to keep written evidence such as receipts you must be able to explain your claim and show you spent the amounts.
Example: travel expenses before employment
Brett travels from regional Victoria to Melbourne to audition for a role. He pays for his travel, accommodation and meals to attend the audition.
Brett can't claim a deduction as the expenses he incurs allow him to get a job.End of example
Example: less than reasonable amount incurred
Veronique is employee at a burlesque dance company to perform in the major capital cities in their latest production. Veronique's employer pays for all the airfares and accommodation expenses.
Veronique receives an allowance for meals and incidentals of $375 per week while she is on tour. The total allowance of $8,250 for the 22 weeks of the tour is shown on her income statement. Veronique spends less than the reasonable amount for meals and incidentals per day.
Veronique must declare the allowance as income in her tax return.
Veronique can claim a deduction for the amount she spent on meals and incidental expenses. She isn't required to get and keep receipts for the expenses because the amount she spent is less than the relevant reasonable amounts. However, if asked, she would be still required to show how she calculated her claim and that she had spent money on meals and incidentals.
Veronique can’t claim a deduction for accommodation because her employer pays for it.End of example
For more information, see TD 2022/10 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2022-23 income year?
You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. If your fees are deducted from your wages and your employer shows the deduction on your income statement, you can use that as evidence of the amount you pay.
For more adult industry worker expenses, see: