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Professional sportsperson expenses G–O

Details on claiming professional sportsperson expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024

Glasses, contact lenses and anti-glare glasses

You can't claim a deduction for prescription glasses or contact lenses, even if you need to wear them while working. These are private expenses.

You can claim a deduction for the cost of anti-glare glasses if you wear them to reduce the real and likely risk of illness or injury while working as a professional sportsperson. Protective glasses include anti-glare or photochromatic glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses or goggles. See Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens.

You can only claim a deduction for the work-related use of the item.

Grooming expenses

You can't claim a deduction for hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin care products, even if:

  • you receive an allowance for grooming
  • your employer expects you to be well groomed when at work.

All grooming expenses and products are private expenses.

Income protection insurance premiums

You can claim a deduction for the cost of income protection, sickness and accident insurance premiums if the policy covers you solely for loss of employment income.

Payments made to you under an income protection, sickness or accident insurance policy will be assessable income where both the:

  • premiums are deductible
  • payments replace income.

Laundry and maintenance

You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur to wash, dry and iron clothing you wear at work if it's:

  • protective (for example, a UPF 50+ long sleeve shirt)
  • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing such as jeans or general fitness gear
  • a uniform either non-compulsory and registered by your employer on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing or compulsory.

This also includes laundromat and dry-cleaning expenses.

We consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

  • $1 per load if it only contains clothing you wear at work from one of categories above
  • 50c per load if you mix personal items with work clothing from one of the categories above.

You can claim the actual costs you incurred for repairing and dry-cleaning expenses.

If your laundry claim (excluding dry-cleaning expenses) is $150 or less, you don't need to keep records but you will still need to calculate and be able to show how you worked out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

Example: laundering protective clothing

Lauren is a professional Australian Rules football player. She buys sports skins to wear during training and games to reduce the risk of injury.

Lauren can claim a deduction for the cost she incurs to buy and clean her skins as they are considered protective clothing.

Lauren washes these items 3 times per week separate from other clothing. Lauren’s employer requires that she trains and plays with the club for 30 weeks of the income year.

Lauren applies a reasonable basis to calculate the claim for laundering her skins:

3 washes per week × $1 per load × 30 weeks in the year = $90

As Lauren’s total claim for work-related expenses is less than $150, she doesn’t need to keep written records but she will need to be able to explain how she calculated her claim if asked.

End of example


Example: laundering conventional clothing not deductible

Samantha is a professional tennis player who works for Australian Pro Tennis Stars Pty Ltd. Samantha buys a tracksuit that she sometimes wears post-match and after training.

Samantha’s tracksuit is dark grey with no logos or emblems. The tracksuit isn't considered a compulsory or non-compulsory uniform. Samantha wears the tracksuit out of personal choice and it is considered conventional clothing.

Samantha can't claim the cost of buying or laundering her tracksuit. The expenses are private.

End of example

Legal expenses, fines and penalties

Generally, you can claim a deduction for fines and penalties for on-field conduct and legal expenses incurred in defending those fines and penalties, including those relating to a tribunal decision, where they result from their performance as a player and as part of the sporting activity.

You can't claim a deduction for fines, penalties and legal expenses for off-field breaches of conduct.

You can't claim a deduction for fines or other amounts payable for an offence against an Australian or foreign law.

Example: no deduction for fine

Laura is a professional netball player. While driving to an away game, Laura runs a red light because she is running late. Laura receives a fine which she pays.

Laura can't claim a deduction for the fine even though the trip was work-related (travel to an alternative work location).

End of example


Example: deduction for fine

Jared is a professional rugby league player. During a game, he is put on report and later fined $1,500 for a high tackle.

Jared can claim a deduction for the fine. The fine was issued for on-field conduct and results from his performance as a player.

End of example

Luggage expenses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying luggage if you use it for work-related travel. For example, to transport gear used to play an interstate game. This includes:

  • travel bags
  • overnight bags
  • suit packs
  • suitcases
  • luggage trolleys.

If the luggage cost $300 or less, you can claim a deduction for its cost in the year you buy it.

If the luggage cost more than $300, you can claim a deduction for the decline in value of the luggage over its effective life.

If you also use the luggage for private purposes, you must reduce your deduction to account for your private use.

Example: deduction for luggage

Shane buys luggage valued at $250. He only uses the luggage for work purposes.

Since the luggage didn't cost more than $300, Shane can claim an immediate deduction of $250.

End of example

Meal and snack expenses

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of food, drink or snacks you consume during your normal working hours, even if you receive a meal allowance. These are private expenses.

You can claim the cost of meals you incur when you are travelling overnight for the purpose of carrying out your employment duties (travel expenses).

Medical expenses

You can't claim a deduction for medical expenses. This includes expenses incurred on medical treatment for injuries sustained while playing or participating in professional sport. This is a private expense.

Music streaming services, CDs, audio books or podcasts

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of music streaming services, CDs, audio books, podcasts or devices that you use at work. Even if they're used to keep you motivated or occupied at work, these items aren't essential to earning your income. They are private expenses.

For more professional sportspersons expenses, see: