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Hospitality industry expenses P–S

Last updated 11 June 2023

Details on claiming hospitality industry employee expenses for:

Phone, data and internet expenses

You can claim a deduction for the 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 incur.

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

For more information, see:

Example: calculating phone expenses

Sebastian is a caterer and he uses his personal mobile phone for work purposes (mostly outgoing phone calls). He is on a set mobile plan of $39 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

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

At least once a year, Sebastian prints out his monthly bill and highlights his work-related phone calls. He also makes notes on the itemised bill about who he is phoning for work – for example, his manager and clients.

Out of the 250 phone calls he has made in a 4-week period, Sebastian works out that 100 (40%) of the phone calls are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $39 a month.

He works out his phone calls for work purposes as follows:

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

100 ÷ 250 = 0.40 (that is 40%)

Sebastian can claim 40% of the total bill of $39 for each month for work purposes, that is:

$39 × 0.40 = $15.60

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

10.6 months × $15.60 = $165.36

End of example


Example: work and private use

Sylvie uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails and develop the menu for the restaurant where she is the pastry chef. Sylvie also uses her computer and the internet for private purposes.

Sylvie keeps a diary for a 4-week period, recording the times she used the internet for work and private purposes. Her internet use diary showed 20% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 80% was for private use.

As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

$1,200 × 0.20 = $240 as work-related internet use.

If there was anyone else that accesses the internet connection, Sylvie 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, cut-resistant gloves 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 customers
  • 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.

Removal and relocation expenses

You can’t claim a deduction for the cost to transfer or relocate to a new work location. This is the case whether the move is a condition of your existing job or you are taking up a new job.

Repairs to tools and equipment

You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim an amount for your work-related use.

Self-education expenses

You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if they directly relate to your employment as a hospitality industry employee and at the time the expense is incurred it:

  • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
  • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

You can't claim a deduction if the self-education expense if at the time the expense is incurred it:

  • doesn't have a connection with your current employment
  • only relates in a general way to your current employment
  • enables you to get employment or change employment.

If your self-education expenses are deductible, you can claim expenses such as course or tuition fees, student and amenities fees, textbooks, academic journals and stationery expenses. You will also be able to claim a deduction for the decline in value of any depreciating assets which cost more than $300 that you use for your work-related study.

If you study at home, you may also be able to claim work from home running expenses, but not occupancy expenses.

You can't claim a deduction for the repayments you make on your study or training support loan. Study and training support loans include:

  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) (FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP)
  • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
  • Trade Support Loan Program (TSL)
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
  • Student Start-up Loan (SSL).

While course or tuition fees may be deductible, fees you incur under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP) scheme are not deductible.

Example: self-education not deductible

Terri is a chef and wants to develop skills in other areas of the restaurant business as she'd like to open a restaurant of her own one day. Terri enrols in a barista training course and a bartending course.

Even though there are some minor connections between her work in hospitality and her study, her current duties as a chef and the specific knowledge she gains from her study don't relate.

Terri can't claim a deduction for the costs of these courses.

End of example

Seminars, conferences and training courses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a hospitality industry employee.

The costs you can claim includes fares to attend the venue where the seminar, conference or training course is held and registration costs. If you need to travel and stay away from home overnight to attend such an event, you can also claim the cost of accommodation and meals.

You may not be able to claim all of your expenses if attending a seminar, conference or training course is for both work-related and private purposes. If the private purpose is incidental, such as a catered lunch or a reception for delegates, you can still claim all your expenses. However, if the main purpose is not work-related, such as attending a conference while on a holiday, you can only claim the direct costs. Direct costs include the registration costs.

Where you have a dual purpose for attending the seminar, conference or training course, for example you add a holiday of one week to a training course that runs for one week, then you can only claim the work-related portion.

Example: work-related conference and exhibition

Jan is a hospitality events manager at a tavern that regularly hosts conferences and weddings. Each year she attends an events management conference and exhibition to network with colleagues in the industry, share ideas and meet with clients to provide advice on the types of events and costings her venue offers.

These events are related to Jan's work and maintain or increase the knowledge, capabilities or skills she needs to earn her income in her current role. Jan can claim a deduction for the cost of attending the event.

If Jan's employer pays for or reimburses her for the costs she incurred to attend the conference she can't claim a deduction.

End of example

For more hospitality industry employee expenses, see: