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Media professional expenses R–S

Last updated 11 June 2023

Details on claiming media professional expenses.

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 media professional 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 if the self-education expense if at the time you incur the expense 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) (HECS-HELP and FEE-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 doesn't maintain or improve on current skills

Cyrus is a media assistant on a morning breakfast show. He is also studying to become an investigative journalist. Cyrus is responsible for working closely with the media team, performing administrative duties and developing strong relationships with media outlets.

While the course builds on his knowledge in the media profession, it has no direct connection to his current role and will result in him obtaining new employment as an investigative journalist.

Cyrus can't claim a deduction for the costs he incurs as it will allow him to obtain a new job and increase his income, there isn't a sufficient connection between the course and his present employment activities as a media assistant.

End of example

Seminars, conferences and training courses

You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work as a media professional.

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 training

Emilia is a media professional who reports on health emergencies. She attends a weekend seminar on emergency communications, which provides skills, knowledge and advice she needs to effectively communicate risk in an emergency, which she pays for herself.

Emilia can claim a deduction for the costs to attend the seminar, as she incurred the expense and her employer did not reimburse her for the costs.

Emilia keeps her receipts for these expenses including the course fee, her meals and parking.

End of example

Stationery

You can claim a deduction for the cost of pens, notepads, folders or other stationery you buy if you use them in the course of carrying out your duties as a media professional.

Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens

You can claim a deduction for the work-related use of sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreen lotions if you:

  • must work in the sun for extended periods
  • use these items to protect yourself from the real and likely risk of illness or injury while at work.

This includes prescription sunglasses and anti-glare glasses.

You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the products if you also wear them for private purposes.

For more media professionals' expenses, see:

QC51250