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Deductions for work expenses

Last updated 2 June 2023

Deductions you can and can't claim for expenses you incur to earn your income or performing your work.

For a summary of common expenses, see Apprentice deductions (PDF, 443KB)This link will download a file.

You may be able to claim a deduction for work-related expenses you incur as an apprentice or trainee.

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense you must meet the 3 golden rules:

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

As an apprentice or trainee, you can generally claim a deduction for the same expenses as other employees in your occupation or industry. However, you can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for any of these costs.

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

You can’t claim a deduction if:

  • you don't keep records of your work-related expenses
  • someone else (such as an employer) pays for the expense or reimburses you for it.

Find out which expenses you can and can't claim as an apprentice or trainee:

To help you work out if you can or can't claim a deduction for other expenses, and the records you need, see Employees guide for work expenses.

You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to store records and 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 tax agent at tax time to make lodging your tax return easier.

We have information in languages other than English to help people from non-English speaking backgrounds. A summary of common work-related 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.

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