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Sales and marketing industry expenses A–F

Details on claiming common sales and marketing manager or sales representative 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 work. These are private expenses, even if you:

  • live a long way from your usual or normal 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:

  • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from your first job in sales to your second job as a waiter
  • to and from an alternative workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, travelling from head office to a branch in the suburbs
  • from home directly to an alternative workplace – for example, travelling from home to meet a client at their business premises which is not your regular work location.

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 your work-related use of the 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: bulky equipment

Sue is a sales manager who uses a laptop computer in the office and when visiting clients. She carries it to and from work in her car.

As the computer isn't bulky equipment, she can't claim a deduction for her travel costs to and from work.

End of example


Example: travelling between workplaces

Nadeem is a sales manager who travels from his normal workplace to head office to attend a meeting. After the meeting, he travels directly back to his normal workplace and then home.

Nadeem can claim the cost of each journey between his workplace and head office as a deduction as the trips are for work purposes.

End of example


Example: shifting places of employment

Patricia is a sales manager looking after a large number of clients. She spends her working days travelling around to meet with clients. Patricia only goes to the office to finalise her paperwork when it is convenient for her to do so.

Patricia can claim a deduction for the car expenses she incurs when she travels:

  • between her home and her clients' premises
  • between clients' premises
  • between her clients' premises and the office
  • between her home and the office.

Patricia has no fixed place of work each day. She has shifting places of employment and continually travels from one to another before she returns home at the end of the day.

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, business attire worn by a sales rep.

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 yourself from specific risks of injury or illness at work. For example, steel-capped boots, hi-vis clothing, or aprons or smocks to protect conventional 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, repairs or replaces your clothing.

Example: compulsory uniform with a logo

Mike's employer requires him to wear shirts they provide when he is at work. Each shirt is embroidered with his employer's logo. Mike is also required to wear black pants and black shoes.

Mike can't claim the cost to buy, repair or replace his black pants or shoes as they are conventional items.

Mike can't claim the cost of buying the embroidered shirts as they are provided by his employer.

However, Mike can claim a deduction for the cost of washing the embroidered shirts as they are:

  • distinctive items with the employer's logo
  • compulsory for him to wear at work.
End of example


Example: no deduction for conventional clothing

Lena wears a business suit to work. It’s not compulsory for a staff member to wear a business suit, but the employer encourages staff members to do so.

Lena can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying or cleaning these items because they are private in nature, even if her employer tells her to wear them.

End of example


Example: deduction for protective clothing

Danijela is a sales representative for a company that sells manufacturing equipment. When she visits some of her clients on site, she is required to wear a high vis vest over her clothing for safety purposes.

Danijela can claim a deduction for the cost of buying a hi-vis vest to wear on certain site visits. The hi-vis vest protects her from the risk of being injured while on those sites performing her employment duties.

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.

Entertainment and social functions

You can't claim a deduction for the cost of any entertainment, fundraising or social functions. This applies even if they are compulsory, non-compulsory or you discuss work matters at the event.

Entertainment and social functions include the cost of:

  • work breakfasts, lunches or dinners
  • attendance at sporting events
  • gala or social nights
  • concerts or dances
  • cocktail parties
  • other similar types of functions or events.

These are private expenses because these events do not have a direct connection to your work duties.

You also can’t claim the cost of travelling to and from functions.

Example: entertainment costs you can't claim

Rachael attends a social breakfast organised by a women in business network. These breakfasts are held every other month. The events encourage women in sales and marketing to network with colleagues.

Rachael can’t claim a deduction for the cost of attending the breakfast.

End of example

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.

For more sales and marketing manager expenses, see: