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Income and allowances

Income and allowance amounts you need to include in your tax return and amounts you don’t include.

Last updated 2 June 2024

Amounts you do and don't include

You must include all the income you receive during the income year as an employee in the travel agent industry in your tax return, this includes:

  • salary and wages, including cash or bonus payments
  • allowances
  • compensation and insurance payments – for example, payments made under an income protection insurance policy to replace salary and wages.

Don't include as income any reimbursements you receive.

Your income statement or a payment summary will show your salary, wages and allowances for the income year.

Example: allowance in your tax return

Dan is an employee travel agent. Each calendar year, Dan's employer offers a bonus of $5,000 to the agent who books the highest dollar value of trips.

For the calendar year ending 31 December 2023, Dan receives a bonus of $5,000. The bonus is reported on his income statement for the 2023–24 income year.

Dan must include the $5,000 bonus as income at Allowances, earnings, tips, directors fees etc in his 2023–24 tax return.

End of example


You must include all allowances your employer reports on your income statement or payment summary as income in your tax return.

An allowance is where your employer pays you an amount as an estimate of costs you might incur:

  • to help you pay for a work expense – for example, overtime meal allowance
  • as compensation for an aspect of your work such as working conditions or industry peculiarities – for example, recall allowance
  • as an amount for having special duties, skills or qualifications – for example, first aid qualifications.

Your employer may not include some allowances on your income statement or payment summary. Find out about declaring income and claiming deductions for Allowances not on your income statement.

Allowances not on your income statement or payment summary

If you receive an allowance from your employer, it does not automatically mean you can claim a deduction.

Your employer may not include some allowances on your income statement or payment summary, you will find these amounts on your payslip. You don't need to declare these allowances as income in your tax return, unless you're claiming a deduction. Examples include travel allowances and overtime meal allowances.

If you spend the allowance amount on work expenses, you:

  • don't include it as income in your tax return
  • can't claim any deductions for the work expenses the allowance covers.

If you're not claiming a deduction, you don't need to keep any records of the amounts you spend.

If you spend your allowance on a deductible work-related expense, to claim a deduction you:

  • include the allowance as income in your tax return
  • include a claim for the work expenses you incur in your tax return
  • must have records of your expenses.

If you can claim a deduction, the amount of the deduction is not usually the same amount as the allowance you have receive.

Allowances and claiming a deduction

The following table sets out allowances you may receive and when you can claim a deduction.

Allowance types, reason for the allowances and if you can claim a deduction

Reason for allowance

Example of allowance type

Deduction (Yes or No)

Compensation for an aspect of your work that is unpleasant, special or dangerous or for industry peculiarities

Health and safety representative allowance

Recall allowance


These allowances don't help you pay for deductible work-related expenses

An amount for certain expenses

Overtime meal allowance


If you incur deductible expenses

An amount for special skills

A first aid certificate


If you incur deductible expenses

Example: allowance assessable, no deduction

Mark is a travel agent and is the health and safety representative for his office. Mark's employer pays him an allowance for each week during the year that he holds that position. At the end of the income year, the allowance is on his income statement.

Mark must include the amount of the allowance in his tax return, but he can't claim a deduction for any expenses against the allowance. The allowance compensates Mark for his special additional duties. It's not to cover any expenses he might incur.

End of example


Example: allowance assessable, deduction allowable

Ronaldo is a travel agent. His employer requires him to wear a compulsory uniform which his employer requires him to launder and repair when necessary.

Ronaldo's employer pays him a uniform allowance which is on his income statement. Ronaldo regularly washes his uniform and in winter, he also dry-cleans his jacket.

Ronaldo must declare the uniform allowance as income in his tax return. He can also claim a deduction for cost of laundering and dry cleaning his compulsory uniform.

End of example


If your employer pays you the exact amount for expenses you incur (either before or after you incur them), the payment is a reimbursement.

A reimbursement is not an allowance.

If your employer reimburses you for expenses you incur:

  • you don't include the reimbursement as income in your tax return
  • you can't claim a deduction for them.

Find out about employee travel agents: