Details on claiming meat worker 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 to undertake compulsory training.
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 meat worker. For example, knives and sharpening stones.
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 a third party supplies for use.
Example: decline in value for tools and equipment
Jeremy is a meat process worker. He buys a set of knives for $430, designed to increase the efficiency of cutting a certain cut of beef. Jeremy doesn’t use the knives at home and stores them at his workplace.
As the knife set cost more than $300, Jeremy can't claim an immediate deduction for the whole amount. He can, however, claim a deduction for the decline in value of the knives over their effective life.
If in the following year, Jeremy breaks one of the knives and must buy a replacement. Jeremy can claim an immediate deduction for the replacement. This is because it won't be part of a set he bought in that year that cost more than $300.End of example
Example: tools and equipment – no work-related connection
Xavier is a meat packer, packaging cuts of meat ready for delivery. Xavier buys a set of knives for $280 as he believes that one day his employer may ask him to move into the butchering area.
Xavier can't claim a deduction for the knives he bought as they have no connection with his current income-producing activities as a meat packer.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 haven't incurred 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 must be able to show:
- you were away overnight
- you have 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.
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 example, show your work diary, that you received and correctly declared your travel allowance and bank statements.
Example: Allowable deduction for work-related travel expenses - reasonable amounts
Alisha is a meat process worker and is required to travel interstate to attend training relating to her job. She is away from home for 5 nights.
Alisha's employer pays her an allowance of $70 per night for meals and incidental expenses. Her employer also pays for her accommodation expenses.
The travel allowance of $350 (5 × $70 = $350) is shown on her income statement.
Alisha reviews her bank statements for the applicable 5 days of travel and works out that she spent $85 per day on meals.
Alisha must include the allowance of $350 as income in her tax return and she can claim a deduction of $425 (5 × $85 = $425).
As she is claiming less than the reasonable amount for meals and incidentals per day she isn't required to get and keep written evidence. However, she would still be required to show:
- how she works out her claim
- that she had spent money on meals and incidentals whilst travelling away from home overnight for work.
Example: When you can’t claim a deduction for travel expenses – no nexus
Fred is a meat processing worker in Brisbane. His role is to cut meat into the correct size portions and dispose of the carcasses.
Fred takes 5 days of annual leave for a family holiday. During his holiday he attends Australia’s Best Livestock Show. A display at the event showcases how livestock’s quality of life before being processed can affect the quality of the meat.
Fred believes that for this reason the trip has a relevant connection with his role as a meat process worker.
Fred can't claim a deduction for any of his travel costs. The livestock show has an insufficient connection to Fred’s roles and responsibilities as a meat process worker.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?
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 meat workers' expenses, see: