ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Hairdresser or beauty professional expenses L–P

Last updated 9 June 2023

Details on claiming hairdresser or beauty professional expenses.

Laundry and maintenance

You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur to wash, dry and iron clothing you wear at work if it's:

  • protective (for example, an apron)
  • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing such as jeans or general business attire
  • a uniform either non-compulsory and registered with AusIndustry or compulsory.

This also includes laundromat and dry-cleaning expenses.

We consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

  • $1 per load if it only contains clothing you wear at work from one of the categories above
  • 50c per load if you mix personal items of clothing with work clothing from one of the categories above.

You can claim the actual costs you incurred for repairing and dry-cleaning expenses. If your laundry claim (excluding dry cleaning expenses) is $150 or less, you don't need to keep records but you will still need to calculate and be able to show how you worked out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

Example: laundry expenses deductible

Helana works for a salon as a hair stylist and beautician. When working as a hair stylist, Helana must wear black trousers, black shoes a black shirt and an apron with the salon name on it. He employer requires her to wear these items and supplies and washes them.

When Helana is working as a beautician in the salon, her employer provides a beautician's tunic with the salon logo on it. This identifies her as the beautician on duty. Helana must wash the tunic herself.

She washes, dries and irons her tunic with her plain black hairdressing clothes twice a week. Helana works 48 weeks during the year.

As Helana's hairdressing clothes are plain everyday clothing items, she can't claim the cost of washing, ironing or drying these items even though she only wears them to work and washes them with her tunics. Therefore, she can only claim 50 cents per load of laundry.

Her claim of $48 for laundry expenses is worked out as follows:

Number of claimable laundry loads per week × number of weeks = total number of claimable laundry loads.

2 × 48 = 96

Total number of claimable laundry loads × reasonable cost per load = total claim amount.

96 × $0.50 = $48

End of example

Meal and snack expenses

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of food, drink or snacks you consume during your normal working hours, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

Newspapers and other news services, magazines and professional publications

The cost of newspapers, other news services and magazines are generally private expenses and not deductible.

You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying or subscribing to a professional publication, newspaper, other news services or magazines if you can show:

  • a direct connection between your specific work duties and the content
  • the content is specific to your employment and is not general in nature.

If you use the publication for work and private purposes, you can only claim your work-related use.

Example: magazines

Morton is a senior hair stylist. He must keep up to date with all the latest trends in hair colours, styles and cuts. In order to do this, Morton buys 4 different magazines each month. Two of the magazines are general fashion magazines and the other 2 magazines specialise in the latest developments in hair design.

Morton can't claim a deduction for the cost of the 2 general fashion magazines. These are too general in nature and the expense is private.

Morton can claim a deduction for the cost of the 2 magazines that specialise in the latest developments in hair design.

End of example

Overtime meal expenses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime, if all of the following apply:

  • you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement
  • the allowance is on your income statement as a separate allowance
  • you include the allowance in your tax return as income.

You can't claim a deduction if the allowance is part of your salary and wages and not included as a separate allowance on your income statement.

You generally need to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction. However, each year we set an amount you can claim for overtime meal expenses without receipts. We call this the 'reasonable amount'. If you received an overtime meal allowance, are claiming a deduction and spent:

  • up to the reasonable amount, you don't have to get and keep receipts
  • more than the reasonable amount, you must get and keep receipts for your expenses.

In all cases, you need to be able to show you spent the money and how you work out your claim.

Example: deduction for overtime meal

Wyatt is an apprentice hairdresser. He works out that 30 times during the year he worked overtime, after completing his normal 8-hour shift. Each time, his employer provides him with a meal break and a meal allowance of $20.

Wyatt usually buys and eats a meal during his overtime which costs $15. His income statement shows his overtime meal allowance as a separate allowance of $600. This is his 30 overtime shifts × $20.

In his tax return, Wyatt includes his allowance of $600 as income. He also claims a deduction for his overtime meal expense.

He works this out as the amount he spent on overtime meals multiplied by the number of overtime shifts or:

$15 × 30 overtime shifts = $450.

As the amount Wyatt spent on his meals is less than the reasonable amount, he doesn't have to keep receipts. However, if asked, Wyatt will have to show that he spent the $450 on overtime meals and how he worked out his claim.

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?

Parking fees and tolls

You can't claim a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of work. You also can't claim a deduction for tolls you incur for trips between your home and work. This is a private expense.

You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls on work-related trips.

Example: parking fees

Manuel drives his own car to work each day and parks in the secure parking centre near the salon where he works.

Each Wednesday afternoon Manuel drives his car from his regular place of work to another of his employer's salons in the suburbs. He pays for parking and isn't reimbursed by his employer.

Manuel can't claim the cost he incurs for parking at his regular place of work. However, he can claim his parking at the salon in the suburbs as this is incurred on a work-related trip.

End of example

Phone, data and internet expenses

You can claim a deduction for phone, data and internet costs for the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

If your phone, data and internet use for work is incidental and you're not claiming more than $50 in total, you do not need to keep records.

If you claim more than $50, you need to keep records to show your work use. For example, an itemised bill where you can identify your work-related phone calls and data use. You can’t claim a deduction if your employer:

  • provides you with a phone for work and pays for your usage
  • reimburses you for the costs.

You can't claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because they are personal phone calls.

If all or part of your work-related phone, data and internet expenses are incurred as a result of working from home and you use the revised fixed rate method to claim your working from home deductions, you can't claim a separate deduction for these expenses.

For more information, see:

Example: calculating phone expenses

Sebastian is an employee mobile makeup artist. At the start of each working day, Sebastian's manager sends him a list of appointments. Sebastian uses his mobile phone to contact each of the clients on his list to let them know when he is on his way or if he is running late.

He also contacts his manager if an issue that he can't deal with arises. He is on a set plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month that includes details of his individual phone calls.

At least once a year, Sebastian prints out his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is phoning for work – for example, his manager and clients.

Out of the 300 phone calls he has made in a 4-week period, Sebastian works out that 210 (70%) of the individual phone call expenses billed to him are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

Since Sebastian was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

Total work phone calls ÷ total number of phone calls = work use percentage for phone calls

210 ÷ 300 = 0.70 (that is 70%)

Sebastian can claim 70% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes:

$49 × 0.70 = $34.30

As Sebastian worked for 46 weeks of the year, he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

10.6 months × $34.30 = $363.58

End of example


Example: work and private use

Sylvette is a hairdresser. She uses her computer and personal internet account at home to complete an advanced hair cutting course online. Sylvette also uses her computer and the internet for private purposes.

Sylvette's internet use diary showed 10% of her internet time was for completing the advanced hair cutting course and 90% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

$1,200 × 0.10 = $120 as work-related internet use

If there was anyone else that accessed the internet connection, Sylvette will need to reduce her claim to account for their use.

End of example

Protective items

You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective items, equipment and products – for example, safety glasses and personal protective equipment such as face masks or sanitiser. You must use these items:

  • to protect you from the real and likely risk of injury or illness in your work environment or while performing your work duties – for example, working in close proximity to clients
  • in direct connection to earning your employment income.

You can also claim the costs you incur to repair, replace or clean protective items.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer:

  • supplies the protective items
  • pays for the protective items
  • reimburses you for the costs you incur to buy protective items.

For more hairdresser and beauty professional expenses, see: