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Meat worker expenses A–K

Details on claiming meat worker expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024

Car expenses

You can't claim a car expenses deduction for normal trips between your home and 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)
  • have to carry an item that is illegal to carry on public transport.

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 such 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 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 also claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase arrangement) when you drive:

  • directly between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from your first job at the meat factory to your second job at a butcher's shop
  • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, travelling from the meat factory to your employer's head office to complete mandatory training.

To claim a deduction, you must keep records of your car use. You can choose between the logbook method or the cents per kilometre 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:

  • motorcycle
  • 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 are not required to keep a logbook, it is the easiest way to 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: travel between workplaces

Sarah is a meat processor and works 5 days per week at her employer’s North Sydney abattoir. One day Sarah’s supervisor asks her to transport a small piece of cutting equipment to their Western Sydney site.

Sarah delivers the equipment using her own car and returns directly to work. She isn't reimbursed for the car expenses she incurs.

Sarah can claim a deduction for the round-trip between the abattoirs.

She keeps a record of the distance she travels and the date in the myDeductions tool in the ATO app so that she has this information available when she is ready to lodge her tax return.

End of example


Example: tools are not considered bulky

Liam is a meat processor and his employer supplies and stores knives for staff to perform their duties. Liam prefers to use his own knives so buys a set to use at work.

Liam carries the knives in a protective cover to and from work in his own car. His employer doesn’t provide additional storage for Liam’s knives.

Liam can't claim a deduction for transporting his knives to and from work as the knives are not bulky and it's his personal choice to use and carry the knives each day.

End of example


Example: private travel to work

Fatima is a meat processer and drives to and from work each day. The cost of her travel is not deductible as it is a private expense.

End of example

Child care

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.

Clothing and uniform expenses (including footwear)

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, t-shirts and jeans worn by meat workers.

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 you wear to protect you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, cleaning aprons, non-slip shoes or smocks worn to stop you coming into contact with harmful substance. 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, closed shoes.
  • occupation-specific – clothing distinctly identifies you as a person associated 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 and you wear the uniform at work.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing.

Example: compulsory uniform with logo

Milla is a meat packer. She must buy and wear shirts with her employer's logo embroidered on it. The employee guidelines also include a requirement to wear black pants and closed in shoes, but don't stipulate any other qualities of these items.

Milla can claim a deduction for the cost of buying the logoed shirts as they are a compulsory uniform (distinctive items with the employer's logo and compulsory for her to wear at work).

She can't claim the cost of buying her black pants or shoes. Even though her employer requires her to wear a specific colour, they aren't distinctive enough to make them part of her uniform and are still conventional clothes.

End of example


Example: protective shoes and clothing

Barry works in a meat processing plant. One of Barry's duties is to wash down the floor at the end of the day. Barry's employer provides him with a waterproof jacket and pants to wear over his clothes to protect Barry from getting excessively wet. Barry also buys and wears some non-slip gum boots to stop him from slipping over and to protect his feet from getting wet.

The waterproof jacket and pants and the non-slip gum boots are protective. The shoes and clothing protect him from the risk of illness and injury which he is exposed to when he is performing his duties.

Barry can't claim a deduction for the waterproof jacket and pants as they are provided by his employer.

Barry can claim a deduction for the cost of the non-slip gum boots he buys.

End of example

Drivers licence

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.

Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you need to wear them while working. 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 meat worker. 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.

For more meat workers' expenses, see: