ato logo

Deductions for work expenses

Last updated 6 June 2023

Deductions you can and can't claim for expenses you incur to earn your income or performing your work.

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense you must meet the 3 golden rules:

  1. You must have spent the money and you weren't reimbursed
  2. The expense must directly relate to earning your income
  3. You must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion of an expense.

You can’t claim a deduction if:

  • you don't keep records of your work-related expenses
  • someone else (such as an employer) pays for the expense or reimburses you for it.

When we say 'you' or 'professional sportsperson', we are referring to a person who makes their living by playing a professional sport as an employee. For example, an athlete, footballer, basketballer or cricketer.

This guide doesn't deal with the tax obligations of support staff, coaches, referees or umpires – see Fitness and sporting industry employees.

Find out which expenses you can and can't claim as professional sportsperson:

You can use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to store records and help keep track of your:

  • work-related expenses (such as vehicle trips)
  • general expenses (such as gifts and donations).

You can upload these records or share them with a tax agent at tax time to make lodging your tax return easier.

We have information in languages other than English. A summary of common work-related expenses may be available in your language:

  1. Select your language from the other languages' homepage.
  2. Select the heading Individuals.
  3. Check the list to see if a summary is available.