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Mining site employee expenses A–F

Details on claiming common mining site employee expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024

Car expenses

You can't claim a car expenses deduction for normal trips between your home and regular place of 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).

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 driving at truck in the mines, to your second job as a bartender
  • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, travelling between mining sites for your employer
  • from home directly to an alternative workplace – for example, travelling from home to a training venue to attend a work-related training course.

You can't claim car expenses for a car you use under a salary sacrifice or novated lease arrangement. This is because it's usually your employer leasing the car from the financing company and making it available for your use. You can however claim additional work-related expenses you incur that are associated with your work use of the car such as parking and tolls.

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 aren't required to keep a logbook, it is the easiest way to calculate the work-related use of your 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: travelling to and from alternative workplaces

Kevin is a site supervisor and drives his own car between various mining sites throughout the day to inspect their work. After inspecting the last site, Kevin travels directly home.

Kevin can claim a deduction for the expenses he incurs when he is travelling to alternative sites and then home. Kevin can't claim a deduction for travel between his home and regular place of work as this is considered private travel.

End of example


Example: transporting bulky equipment for work purposes

April is an employee on an underground mining site and is required to provide her own tools and equipment to perform her work duties. The tools are heavy and can only be transported using a car. Her employer doesn't provide a secure tool storage area at her workplace, so she must transport her bulky tools and equipment to and from work every day.

April can claim a deduction for the expenses she incurs to transport her tools and equipment between her home and work.

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, work wear worn by mining site employees.

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 that you wear to protect you from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, hi-vis vests, steel capped boots and fire-resistant clothing. 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 that distinctly identifies you as a person 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 or mends your clothing and footwear.

Example: non-deductible conventional clothing

Richard wears jeans with t-shirts or long sleeve shirts at work as they are comfortable. While the jeans and shirts afford Richard some protection from skin abrasions, they provide only limited protection from injury.

The items are commonly worn as conventional clothing and aren't designed to protect the wearer or cope with rigorous working conditions.

Richard can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning these items because they are private in nature.

End of example


Example: protective clothing

Rafael is a miner who wears steel-capped boots and a hi-vis vest when working at the mine site. These items protect Rafael from the specific risks of injury or illness at work.

As Rafael buys these items himself and isn't reimbursed by his employer, he can claim a deduction for the cost of these items as they are protective clothing.

End of example


Example: compulsory uniform with a logo

Jessica is a mining engineer and is required to wear a shirt provided by her employer when she is at work. Her shirt is embroidered with her employer's logo. Jessica is also required to wear plain black pants and black shoes.

Jessica can’t claim the cost to buy, repair or replace her black pants or shoes as they are conventional items.

Jessica can't claim the cost of buying the embroidered shirts as her employer provides these.

Jessica can claim a deduction for the cost of washing the embroidered shirts as they are:

  • distinctive items with the employer's logo
  • compulsory for her to wear at work.
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.

You can claim a deduction for additional costs you incur to get a special licence or condition on your licence to perform your work duties. For example, the cost you incur to get a heavy vehicle permit.

Example: heavy vehicle permit

Jacob is an employee on a mining site and must have a drivers licence, truck licence and a heavy vehicle permit.

Each year, Jacob pays:

  • $45 per year to renew his drivers licence
  • $65 per year to renew his truck licence
  • $73 to apply for the heavy vehicle permit.

Jacob can't claim a deduction for the cost to renew his drivers licence ($45) because it is a private expense.

Jacob can claim the cost of the truck licence ($65) and heavy vehicle permit ($73) as it's an additional expense he must incur to carry out his employment duties.

End of example

Fines and penalties

You can't claim a deduction for any fines or penalties you get when you travel to work or during work. Fines may include parking and speeding fines or penalties.

First aid courses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you are both:

  • a designated first aid person
  • need to complete a first aid training course to assist in emergency work situations.

You can't claim a deduction if your employer pays for or reimburses you for the cost of the course.

Fitness expenses

You can't claim a deduction for fitness expenses, such as gym fees, gym clothes or equipment to maintain your personal fitness. This is the case even if you need to pass medical examinations and fitness tests to maintain your employment.

For more mining site employee expenses, see: