Details on claiming common fitness and sporting industry expenses.
You can't claim a car expenses deduction for normal trips between your home and regular place of work. These are private expenses, even if you:
- live a long way from your usual or regular workplace
- have to work outside normal business hours (for example, weekend or early morning shifts).
In limited circumstances, you can claim the cost of trips between home and work, such as where you carry bulky tools or equipment for work or where you had shifting places of employment.
To be able to claim a deduction for the cost of trips between home and work while carrying bulky tools or equipment, all the following conditions must be met:
- the tools or equipment are essential to perform your employment duties
- the tools or equipment are bulky, meaning that
- because of the size and weight, they are awkward to transport
- they can only be transported conveniently using a motor vehicle
- there is no secure storage for the items at the workplace.
It will not be sufficient if you transport the tools or equipment merely as a matter of choice. For example, if your employer provides reasonably secure storage, your decision to transport items home will be a matter of choice.
You are considered to have shifting places of employment where 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 from the gym you work in to your second job as an umpire
- to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, you meet with a personal training client at a different venue or gym
- from home to an alternative workplace – for example, travelling from home to a training venue for work-related training.
You can't claim car expenses for a car you use under a salary sacrifice or novated lease arrangement. This is because it's usually your employer leasing the car from the financing company and making it available for your use. You can however claim additional work-related expenses you incur that are associated with your work use of the car such as parking and tolls.
To claim a deduction, you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook 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.
If you claim your work-related car expenses using one of the above methods, you can’t claim any further deductions in the same tax return for the same car. For example, petrol, servicing, and insurance costs.
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:
- 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 aren't required to keep a logbook, it is the easiest way 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 places of work
Bruno is a personal trainer. At the end of his shift each day, his employer sends him a list of clients to visit the following day. Bruno travels from his home to each of the clients and at the end of the day he returns home.
Bruno can claim a deduction for the car expenses he incurs when he travels:
- from home to his first client of the day
- between each client
- home at the end of the day.
Bruno doesn't have a fixed place of work. He has shifting places of work.End of example
Example: home to regular place of work
Dylan is a football operations manager for a large club. Dylan's employer provides him with an office to work from at the football fields where competitions are played. When he is on duty, he travels to his office at the football fields
Dylan can't claim a deduction for cost of travelling from his home to his office. His travel is to his regular place of work and is a private expense.End of example
Example: home to alternative place of work
Jennie works as a dance studio manager. Jennie's office is at the dance studio. When one of the dance groups from the studio is performing in a competition, Jennie must attend with the group to register them and deal with any last minute issues that arise. Occasionally, Jennie travels directly from her home to the competition venue.
Jennie can claim a deduction for the expenses she incurs when she travels from her home directly to the competition venue. The competition venue is an alternative place of work.
Jennie can't claim a deduction for the expenses she incurs when she travels between her home and the dance studio. This is travel between her home and her regular place of work and is private in nature.End of example
You can't claim a deduction for the cost of 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.
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, sports gear such as active wear, tracksuits or sports shoes.
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 or functions that 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 regarded as 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: compulsory uniform with logo
Mike is a gym instructor. He has to wear t-shirts his employer provides with the company logo embroidered on them. As part of his uniform, he also has to wear black shorts and sports shoes.
Mike can't claim a deduction for the cost of the t-shirts as his employer provides these at no cost to all employees. He also can't claim the cost of buying his black shorts or sports shoes, even though his employer requires him to wear these, because they are plain, everyday clothing and footwear.
Mike can however claim a deduction for the cost of laundering the t-shirts as they are:
- distinctive items with the employer's logo
- compulsory for him to wear at work.
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.
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 don't have a direct connection to your work duties.
You also can’t claim the cost of travelling to and from functions.
Example: entertainment costs you can't claim
Rachael attends a social drinks night organised by the owners of the gym he is employed at. She is expected to attend these events to network with gym members.
Rachel can't claim a deduction for the cost of any drinks or food she buys during the evening.End of example
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.
You can't claim a deduction for health and fitness expenses because these are private expenses. This includes:
- gym fees and conventional clothing worn at the gym (including tracksuits, running or aerobic shoes, socks, sporting shirts or shorts
- the cost of a program specifically designed to manage weight
- the cost of normal food substitutes or the cost of food for special dietary purposes
- the cost of vitamins, minerals or sports supplements, such as protein shakes.
You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you need to wear them while working as these are private expenses.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective glasses if you wear them to reduce the real and likely risk of illness or injury while working as a fitness and sporting industry employee. Protective glasses include anti-glare or photochromatic glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses or goggles.
You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.
Example: deduction for sunglasses
Jermayne is a tennis coach at a tennis club. The courts are all outdoor courts. When Jermayne is conducting lessons, he wears sunglasses to protect his eyes from glare and sun damage. Jermayne leaves the sunglasses in his locker for work so he doesn't use them for private purposes.
Jermayne can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses he purchases to wear at work. As he spends prolonged periods in the sun while he is carrying out his duties, the sunglasses protect his eye from the real and likely risk of sun damage and glare.End of example
You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even though:
- you receive an allowance for grooming
- your employer may expect you to be well groomed when at work.
All grooming expenses and products are private expenses.
For more fitness and sporting industry employee expenses, see: