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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 Community support workers (PDF, 427KB)This link will download a file.

To claim a deduction for work-related expenses 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).

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

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.

When we say 'direct carer', we mean an employee that provides hands-on care to people when they are elderly, ill or disabled. You may provide home-based care (in clients' homes) and community based care (assisted living facilities).

This information doesn't apply if you're a participant or nominated representative under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Payments you receive are tax free and you can't claim for expenses for assets paid for by the scheme.

Find out what expenses you can and can't claim as a direct carer:

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 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.