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Recruitment consultant expenses G–O

Details on claiming recruitment consultant expenses.

Last updated 2 June 2024


You can claim a deduction for the cost of gifts bought for work purposes if, you're a recruitment consultant entitled to receive your income from commission or retainer.

Gifts you can claim include:

  • a Christmas hamper
  • bottle of spirits or wine
  • gift vouchers
  • a bottle of perfume
  • flowers
  • a pen set.

You can't claim a deduction if you earn a fixed income and you are not entitled to earn a commission.

You can't claim a deduction for gifts that are in the form of entertainment – for example, tickets to attend a live sporting event.

Example: income is fixed and not entitled to earn a commission

Tasneem is an employer relationship manager on a fixed salary who is responsible for locating suitable candidates for a major telecommunication company. As a way of thanking the company for a successful recruitment drive, she buys a bottle of wine for each of the executives.

She can't claim a deduction for the thank you gifts as she only received a fixed income and doesn't earn any commissions.

End of example

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 as these are private expenses.

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

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.

Laundry and maintenance

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

  • protective (for example, a hi-vis jacket)
  • occupation specific and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing such as jeans or general business attire
  • 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 the categories above
  • 50c per load if you mix personal items of clothing 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. However, you will still need to calculate and be able to show how you worked out your claim. This isn't an automatic deduction.

Example: conventional clothing

Layla is a recruitment consultant. Her employer doesn't have a compulsory uniform, she is only required to dress in office appropriate attire. She buys work shirts and pants from a department store and wears black ballet flats when performing her work duties.

As Layla's work clothes are conventional, everyday clothing she can't claim a deduction for buying them which means she can't claim a deduction for laundering them either.

End of example


Example: uniform laundry expenses

Michelle is a recruitment consultant. Her employer requires her to wear a uniform consisting of a white button up shirt with her employer's logo embroidered on. She is also required to wear plain black pants and plain back shoes.

Michelle washes, dries and irons her work shirt with her plain black pants and other general clothing twice a week. Michelle works 48 weeks during the income year.

As the button up logoed white shirt is a compulsory uniform, Michelle can claim a deduction for the purchase and laundering of it. However, her black pants are conventional clothing so she can't claim the cost of purchasing or laundering them.

Her claim of $48 for laundry expenses is worked out as follows:

Number of claimable laundry loads per week × number of weeks = total number of claimable laundry loads

2 × 48 weeks = 96

Total number of claimable laundry loads × reasonable cost per load = total claim amount

96 × $0.50 = $48

As her total claim for laundry expenses is under $150, Michelle doesn't have to provide written evidence of her laundry expenses. Although Michelle doesn't require evidence to prove her claim for laundry, if asked, she will still be required to explain how she calculated her claim.

End of example

LinkedIn premium subscription

You can claim a deduction for the cost of the work-related portion of a LinkedIn premium subscription.

If there's a sufficient connection between the duties you carry out as a recruitment consultant and the features provided by the service. The portion of the cost of the relevant subscription related to work is deductible.

Example: claiming LinkedIn premium subscription

Braeden, a recruitment consultant, buys a Recruiter Lite LinkedIn premium subscription in October for $129.99 a month.

The subscription provides features not available through other LinkedIn Premium subscriptions such as email templates, advanced search functions, unlimited people browsing, automatic candidate tracking and integrated hiring services. All these features assist Braeden to carry out his duties as a recruitment consultant.

Braeden doesn't use his premium subscription for any other purpose as he uses his other social media platforms to engage with family and friends.

Braeden can claim a deduction for Recruiter Lite LinkedIn Premium to the extent he uses the service for work related purposes.

He calculates his deduction as follows:

Subscription cost per month × number of months purchased × work-related use

$129.99 × 9 months × 100% = $1,169.91

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:

  • overtime meal expenses, but only if you buy and eat the meal while you are performing overtime and you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial award
  • the cost of meals you incur when you are travelling overnight for the purpose of carrying out your employment duties (travel expenses).

Newspapers and other news services, magazines and professional publications

The cost of newspapers, other news services and magazines are generally private expenses and not deductible.

You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying or subscribing to a professional publication, newspaper, news service or magazine if you can show:

  • a direct connection between your specific work duties and the content
  • the content is specific to your employment and is not general in nature.

If you use the publication for work and private purposes, you can only claim the portion related to your work-related use.

Overtime meal expenses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of a meal you buy and eat when you work overtime, if all of the following apply:

  • you receive an overtime meal allowance under an industrial law, award or agreement
  • the allowance is on your income statement or payment summary as a separate allowance
  • you include the allowance in your tax return as income.

You can't claim a deduction if the allowance is part of your salary and not included as a separate allowance on your income statement or payment summary.

You are generally required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction. However, each year we set an amount you can claim for overtime meal expenses without receipts. We call this the 'reasonable amount'. If you received an overtime meal allowance, are claiming a deduction and spent:

  • up to the reasonable amount, you don't have to get and keep receipts
  • more than the reasonable amount, you must get and keep receipts for all your expenses.

In all cases, you need to be able to show you spent the money and how you work out your claim.

For more information, see TD 2023/3 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2023–24 income year?

For more recruitment consultant expenses, see: