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Sales and marketing industry expenses P–S

Last updated 18 June 2023

Details on claiming common sales and marketing manager or sales representative expenses.

Parking fees and tolls

You can't claim a deduction for parking at or near a regular place of work. You also can't claim a deduction for tolls you incur for trips between your home and work. These are private expenses.

You can claim a deduction for parking fees and tolls you incur on work-related trips.

Example: parking fees

Spencer drives his own car to work each day and parks in the secure parking centre pay car park next to the office where he works.

When Spencer needs to visit a client, he drives his car from the office to that client's premises. When he visits a particular client, Spencer travels on a toll road and pays for parking near the client's premises. The tolls and parking fees aren't reimbursed by Spencer's employer.

Spencer can't claim the cost he incurs parking in the pay car park as this is an expense incurred at his regular place of work. However, Spencer is able to claim the tolls and parking fees he incurs when he visits his client as the expenses are incurred on a work-related trip.

End of example

Phone, data and internet expenses

You can claim a deduction for phone, data and internet costs for the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

If your phone, data and internet use for work is incidental and you're not claiming more than $50 in total, you do not need to keep records.

If you claim more than $50, you need to keep records to show your work use. For example, an itemised bill where you can identify your work-related phone calls and data use.

You can’t claim a deduction if your employer:

  • provides you with a phone for work and pays for your usage
  • reimburses you for the costs you incur.

You can’t claim a deduction for any phone calls to family and friends, even while travelling for work. This is because these are personal phone calls.

If all or part of your work-related phone, data and internet expenses are incurred as a result of working from home and you use the revised fixed rate method to claim your working from home deductions, you can't claim a separate deduction for these expenses.

For more information, see:

Example: calculating phone expenses

Fergus uses his mobile phone for work purposes such as keeping in contact with clients, calling suppliers and his manager. He is on a set plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

He receives an itemised account from his phone provider each month including details of the phone calls he has made.

At least once a year, Fergus prints out his account and highlights the work-related calls he made. He makes notes on his account for the first month about who he is calling for work such as his manager, suppliers and his clients.

Out of the 300 phone calls he has made in a 4 week period, Fergus works out that 120 (40%) of the phone calls are for work and applies that percentage to his cap amount of $49 a month.

Fergus calculates his phone calls for work purposes as follows:

Total work phone calls ÷ total number of phone calls = work use percentage for phone calls

120 ÷ 300 = 0.40 (that is 40%)

Fergus can claim 40% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes, calculated as:

$49 × 0.40 = $19.60

As Fergus was only at work for 46 weeks of the year (10.6 months), he works out his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

10.6 months × $19.60 = $207.76

End of example

 

Example: work and private use

Chanda uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access her work emails, fill in reports and manage her appointments. Chanda also uses her computer and the internet for private purposes.

Chanda's internet use diary showed 40% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 60% was for private use. As her internet service provider charge for the year was $1,200 she can claim:

$1,200 × 0.40 = $480 as work-related internet use

If there was anyone else that accessed the internet connection, Chanda must reduce her claim to account for their use.

End of example

Removal and relocation expenses

You can’t claim a deduction for the cost to transfer or relocate to a new work location. This is the case whether the move is a condition of your existing job or you are taking up a new job.

Example: relocating due to transfer

Brittany is a sales manager in Sydney. She is temporarily transferred to a position in Newcastle for two years by her employer.

Brittany can't claim a deduction for her relocation costs, rent or other living expenses.

End of example

Repairs to tools and equipment

You can claim a deduction for repairs to tools and equipment you use for work. If you also use them for private purposes, you can only claim an amount for your work-related use.

For example, if you use your laptop 50% for work purposes and 50% for private purposes, you can only claim 50% of the cost of any repairs to your laptop.

Self-education expenses

You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if they directly relate to your employment as a sales and marketing manager or sales representative and at the time the expense was incurred it:

  • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
  • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

You can't claim a deduction if the self-education expense if at the time the expense was incurred it:

  • doesn't have a connection with your current employment
  • only relates in a general way to your current employment
  • enables you to get employment or change employment.

If your self-education expenses are deductible, you can claim expenses such as course or tuition fees, student and amenities fees, textbooks, academic journals and stationery expenses. You will also be able to claim a deduction for the decline in value of any depreciating assets which cost more than $300 that you use for your work-related study.

If you study from home, you may also be able to claim work from home running expenses, but not occupancy expenses.

You can't claim a deduction for the repayments you make on your study or training support loan. Study and training support loans include:

  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) (FEE-HELP and HECS-HELP)
  • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
  • Trade Support Loan Program (TSL)
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
  • Student Start-up Loan (SSL)

While course fees may be deductible, fees you incur under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP) scheme are not deductible.

Example: self-education expenses

Computer salesperson Kieran takes 6 months leave without pay to undertake a business administration course. His employer has agreed that if he completes the course successfully, he'll be promoted to assistant manager.

As the course is likely to lead to an increase in Kieran’s income from his current job, he can claim a deduction for the costs he incurs to do the course.

End of example

 

Example: course not sufficiently connected to work

Brianna, a sales manager, decided to attend a 4 week course in stress management to help her deal with a family situation. She attended the course after hours and paid for it herself.

Brianna can't claim a deduction for the cost of the course because it wasn't designed to maintain or increase the skill or specific knowledge required in her current position. The expenses are private.

End of example

 

Example: course not sufficiently connected to work, education beyond required skills

Jackie, in her fourth year of a marketing degree, has a job as a part-time sales assistant in a pharmacy. The course and job are generally related, but the high-level professional skills Jackie obtains from her course are well beyond the skills required for the job.

She can't claim a deduction for the cost of her course because it isn't sufficiently connected to the work she does as a sales assistant.

End of example

Seminars, conferences and training courses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work in sales and marketing.

The costs you can claim includes fares to attend the venue where the seminar, conference or training course is held and registration costs. If you need to travel and stay away from home overnight to attend such an event, you can also claim the cost of accommodation and meals.

You may not be able to claim all of your expenses if attending a seminar, conference or training course is for both work-related and private purposes. If the private purpose is incidental, such as a catered lunch or a reception for delegates, you can still claim all your expenses. However, if the main purpose is not work-related, such as attending a conference while on a holiday, you can only claim the direct costs. Direct costs include the registration costs.

Where you have a dual purpose for attending the seminar, conference or training course, for example you add a holiday of one week to a training course that runs for one week, then you can only claim the work-related portion.

Example: reimbursed expenses

Andrew is a sales and marketing manager for a car retailer. His employer requires him to attend an annual manufacturer’s conference to learn the features of new models. His employer pays for the accommodation, flights and conference fees for Andrew to attend.

Andrew can't claim a deduction for these costs as he didn't incur the expenses.

End of example

 

Example: work-related travel with private component

Kristen is a sales and marketing manager for an Australian swimwear brand. She travels to the USA and Europe each year, attending fashion shows to see the latest trends and purchase materials. Kristen often extends her trips to undertake sightseeing and visit friends.

Her employer pays for the accommodation, flights and entry fees to work-related events. As Kristen’s trips are often weeks at a time she needs to keep records of her accommodation expenses and a travel diary.

Kristen can claim a deduction for any meal and incidental expenses she incurs while working.

Kristen can't claim a deduction for any expenses related to her extended stays as they are private in nature.

End of example

 

Example: Attendance at work-related trade fair deductible

Retail sales manager Kostas attends a trade fair at a venue away from his normal place of work. The fair keeps him abreast of developments in the field.

The cost of attending the trade fair is $500, which includes entrance fees, travel to and from the trade fair, accommodation and meals while at the trade fair location.

Although the trade fair isn't an education course, Kostas can claim a deduction for the expenses he incurs that relate to the trade fair.

End of example

For more sales and marketing manager expenses, see:

QC21828