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Hairdresser or beauty professional expenses T–W

Last updated 9 June 2023

Details on claiming hairdresser or beauty professional expenses.

Taxi, ride-share, public transport and car hire

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.

Example: taxi taken in the course of performing work

Pervin is a beauty therapist in a salon. During the day, Pervin's salon runs out of some products they need for the remaining appointments of the day. Pervin's manager asks her to go and buy the products so they are available for the remaining appointments.

Pervin takes a taxi to pick up the products for the salon. She pays for the taxi herself but her employer later reimburses her for the cost.

The taxi trip is travel is in the course of performing Pervin's work. However, Pervin can't claim a deduction because her employer reimburses her for the cost of the taxis.

End of example

Tools and equipment

You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment you use to perform your duties as an employee hairdresser or beauty professional. For example, scissors, electric clippers, combs, curlers and razors.

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 third party supplies for use.

Example: deduction for tools and equipment $300 or less

Hilary is employed as a hairdresser. She buys a new set of hairdressing scissors for $100 and was not reimbursed by her employer. Hilary only uses these scissors at work and does not use them for a private purpose.

Hilary can claim an immediate deduction of $100 for the scissors in the income year she buys them as:

  • they cost $300 or less
  • she only uses the scissors for work purposes
  • the scissors are not part of a set that together cost more than $300.
End of example

 

Example: deduction for tools and equipment over $300

During the year, Jeff also buys a hair dryer worth $500 which he only uses for work purposes.

As the hairdryer cost more than $300, Jeff can claim a deduction for the decline in value over the life of the hairdryer. However, as Jeff buys the hairdryer part way through the year, he can only claim a deduction for the period he owns the hairdryer.

End of example

Travel expenses

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 (incidentals). For example, when you travel interstate to attend a conference, seminar or training course.

You can't claim a deduction for travel expenses where you don't incur any expenses, because:

  • you slept 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 of 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 allowance on deductible accommodation, meal and incidental expenses (if applicable).

You don’t have to keep written evidence such as receipts if both of the following apply:

  • you receive a travel allowance from your employer for the expenses
  • your deduction is less than the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

If you claim a deduction for more than the Commissioner’s reasonable amount you need to keep receipts for all expenses, not just for the amount over the Commissioner’s reasonable amount.

Even if you are not required to keep written evidence such as receipts, you must be able to explain your claim and show you spent the amounts. For example, show your work diary, that you received and correctly declared your travel allowance and bank statements.

Example: reasonable travel allowance

Cindy is an employee hairdresser who specialises in bridal hair. She is required to travel from Sydney to Melbourne for 5 nights. Her employer pays her a travel allowance of $110 per night for accommodation, meals and incidental expenses. The allowance isn't shown on her income statement.

The travel allowance amount paid to Cindy is less than the reasonable allowance amount. Cindy spends all of the travel allowance on her travel expenses.

Cindy doesn't include her allowance as income in her tax return because:

  • it's less than the reasonable allowance amount
  • it's not shown on her income statement
  • she spends it all to cover her travel expenses.

This means Cindy can't claim a deduction for her travel expenses in her tax return.

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?

Union and professional association fees

You can claim a deduction for union and professional association fees you pay. You can use your income statement as evidence of the amount you pay if it's shown on there.

Watches and smart watches

With few exceptions, you can't claim a deduction for a watch or smart watch.

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or repairing an ordinary wristwatch, including a waterproof watch. It is a private expense.

Smart watches (for example, that connect to a phone or other device to provide notifications, apps and GPS) are similar to ordinary wristwatches. You can't claim a deduction for them as it is a private expense.

Working from home expenses

You may be able to claim a deduction for working from home expenses you incur as an employee. These can be additional running expenses such as electricity, the decline in value of equipment or furniture, phone and internet expenses. You must:

  • use one of the methods set out by us to calculate your deduction
  • keep the records required for the method that you choose.

There are some expenses you can't claim a deduction for as an employee. Employees who work at home can't claim costs:

  • for coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may provide you at work
  • for your children and their education including    
    • setting them up for online learning
    • teaching them at home
    • buying equipment such as iPads and desks
  • your employer pays for or reimburses you for the expense
  • for the decline in value of items provided by your employer – for example, a laptop or a phone.

Generally, as an employee, you can’t claim occupancy expenses (rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums), unless your home is your 'place of business'. This occurs where your home office is both:

  • your sole place of work because no other work location is provided by your employer
  • exclusively or almost exclusively used for work purposes.

You can’t claim a deduction if your employer paid for your home office to be set up or they reimbursed you for the expense.

Use the Home office expenses calculator to help you work out the amount you can claim as a deduction.

For more information, see:

  • PS LA 2001/6 Verification approaches for home office and electronic device expenses
  • TR 93/30 Income tax: deductions for home office expenses
  • PCG 2023/1 Claiming a deduction for additional running expenses incurred while working from home - ATO compliance approach

For more hairdresser and beauty professional expenses, see:

QC51239