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Meat worker expenses P–S

Details on claiming meat worker expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024

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 the 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

Stanley is a meat packer and he uses his personal mobile phone to confirm orders with clients and to report issues with the machinery to his manager. He is on a set mobile plan of $49 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, Stanley prints out his monthly bill and highlights his work-related phone calls. He also makes notes on the itemised bill about who he has phoned for work – for example, client or his manager.

Out of the 300 phone calls he has made in a 4 week period, Stanley works out that 30 (10%) of the phone calls are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month. He calculates his phone calls for work purposes as follows:

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

300 ÷ 30 = 0.10 (that is 10%)

Stanley can claim 10% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes as follows:

$49 × 0.10 = $4.90

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

10.6 months × $4.90 = $51.94

End of example


Example: work and private use

Tasmin uses her computer and personal internet account at home to complete mandatory work training. Tasmin uses her computer and internet for both work and private purposes.

Tasmin keeps a diary for a 4-week period, recording the times she used the internet for work and private purposes. Tasmin's internet use diary showed 10% of her internet time was for work-related activities 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 accesses the internet connection, Tasmin must reduce her claim to account for their use.

End of example

Protective items

You can claim a deduction for the cost of protective items if you wear them to protect you from the real and likely risk of injury or illness in your work environment or while performing your work duties.

To be considered protective, the equipment must provide a sufficient degree of protection against the risks of illness or injury you are exposed to in carrying out your work duties. Protective items can include safety glasses, helmets and breathing masks.

For example, a meat process worker can claim a deduction for the cost of cut resistant gloves.

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
  • reimburses you for the cost you incur to buy protective items.

Example: protective items provided by the employer

Phil is a meat worker and he is required to cut and prepare meat for packaging. He must wear cut resistant gloves when working. He does this to reduce his risk of being injured while working. There is a clear connection between the need for the protective item and Phil's employment duties.

Phil's employer provides him with the cut resistant gloves. However, if Phil chooses to buy his own his employer would reimburse him for these costs.

Phil can't claim a deduction for the cut resistant gloves as he doesn't incur an expense.

End of example

Q fever vaccination

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of vaccinations, even if your employer requires you to be vaccinated.

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 expense

You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if they directly relate to your current employment as a meat worker and at the time you incur the expense 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 for the self-education expense if at the time you incur the expense it either:

  • 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 have set aside a home office to do your study, you may also be able to claim working 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)
  • VSL (VET Student Loans)
  • Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans (AASL) (formerly Trade Support Loans (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: course directly related to employment duties

Albert works as a slaughterer in an abattoir. He is undertaking a Certificate III in Meat Processing (Slaughtering). The course will enable Albert to improve his skills and knowledge he requires to carry out his duties.

Albert's employer pays for his course fees, but Albert pays for his course materials.

Although the course directly relates to Albert's current employment, he can't claim a deduction for the course fees because his employer pays them. However, Albert can claim a deduction for the cost of buying his course materials.

End of example


Example: course to change employment

Delia works as a meat packer. Delia is interested in running her own butcher's shop, so she undertakes a Bachelor of Business course.

Delia can't claim a deduction for the costs she incurs for the course. The course will not provide her the skills and knowledge to perform her duties as a meat packer. The course is designed to enable Delia to change her employment.

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 meat worker.

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 you can only claim the work-related portion. For example, you add a holiday of one week to a training course that runs for one week.

Example: seminar expenses related to current role

Clare a meat process worker. Her employer asks if she is interested in attending a 3 day interstate seminar about new butchering and slicing standards within Australia. Clare agrees to attend and provides a report to her employer on her return.

To attend the seminar Clare will be required to stay away from her home overnight. She incurs $500 for accommodation expenses, $255 for meals and $430 for airfares. Clare’s employer reimburses her $430 for the airfares 2 weeks after the seminar.

Clare can claim a deduction for the accommodation ($500) and meals ($255) because:

  • she incurs the expense
  • the seminar had a sufficient connection to her income-producing activities
  • she has records to substantiate the expenses.

Clare can't claim a deduction for the airfares as she was reimbursed by her employer.

End of example


Example: conference that has no connection to your current role

Terence has a finance degree and works part time as a meat processor managing quality control, conducting spot checks on the meat cut by process workers.

Terence attends an interstate conference on Negotiation in Finance to increase his skills and career prospects. The conference website states that the conference is designed for executives in the finance industry.

Terence spends $340 to register and attend the conference, $350 for accommodation and $150 on meals.

Terence can't claim a deduction for any of his expenses as the conference doesn't have sufficient connection to his current duties as a quality controller.

End of example

For more meat workers expenses, see: