Details on claiming hospitality industry employee expenses for:
- Taxi, ride-share, public transport and car hire
- Tools and equipment
- Travel expenses
- Union and professional association fees
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.
You can claim a deduction for tools and equipment you use to perform your duties as a hospitality industry employee. For example, an event planner who requires a laptop to arrange events and liaise with their clients.
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 a third party supplies for use.
Example: decline in value of tools and equipment
Lina works as a short order cook at a local café. Lina is required to provide her own chef knives as the café owner has not completely fitted out the kitchen.
Lina doesn't own a set of chef knives when she takes the job as all her previous employers have provided this equipment.
The set of 6 knives with chef roll to carry them in that Lina buys cost her $550.
As Lina uses the knives to perform her work duties and they are part of a set costing more than $300, Lina can claim a deduction for the decline in value of the knives over their effective life.End of example
Example: work-related use of equipment
Denise is a head chef at a restaurant. As head chef, Denise is required to create new dishes and menus regularly outside of restaurant hours at home. Denise uses her laptop to research recipes, test recipes and develop menus at home. She has to take her laptop to work as the recipes and menus are stored on her laptop.
Denise buys a leather laptop bag for $200, that she only uses to carry her laptop to work. She carries her cash and cards, personal phone and other personal items in a smaller clutch bag.
Denise can claim a deduction for the cost of the bag because:
- her job requires her to transport the laptop to work, and
- the laptop bag she has purchased is suitable for that purpose.
As the total cost for the laptop bag is less than $300, she can claim a deduction for the full cost of the laptop bag ($200) in the income year that she bought it.End of example
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 work-related 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.
You also can't claim a deduction if you are not required to sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties, for example if you fly interstate and return home the same day, or you choose to sleep near your workplace rather than returning home.
Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically mean you can claim a deduction. In all cases, you need to 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 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.
The Commissioner's reasonable amount is set each year. The amount is used to determine whether an exception from keeping written evidence applies for the following expenses which are covered by a travel allowance:
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 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?
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.
For more hospitality industry employee expenses, see: