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Deductions for work expenses

Last updated 20 June 2023

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

For a summary of common expenses, see Train driver (PDF, 413KB)This link will download a file.

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 incurred for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related use.

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:

  • 'local driver', we mean a driver who usually travels within a city or town and sleeps at home after completing their work. For example, metropolitan passenger drivers.
  • 'short-haul driver', we mean a driver who usually travels between cities and towns but returns home to sleep after completing their work. For example, passenger or freight drivers who drive intrastate or interstate who aren't required to have a mandatory long rest break during their shift.
  • 'long-haul driver', we mean a driver who sleeps away from home, as a long rest break is mandatory as part of their work. For example, passenger or freight drivers who drive intrastate or interstate who are required to have a mandatory long rest break during their shift.

Find out which expenses you can and can't claim as a train driver:

To help you work out if you can or can't claim a deduction for other expenses, and the records you need, see Employees guide for work expenses.

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.

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