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Allowances, earnings, tips, directors fees etc

Last updated 27 June 2018

This section is about payments of income from working. These include:

  • allowances
  • payments from which tax was not withheld, including
    • salary, wages, commissions, bonuses
    • income earned from part-time and casual jobs
    • income from income protection, sickness and accident insurance policies
  • tips, gratuities and payments for your services
  • consultation fees
  • payments for voluntary services (honoraria).

Allowances include:

  • car, travel and transport allowances, and reimbursements of car expenses (calculated by reference to the distance travelled by the car, such as 'cents-per-kilometre' allowances)
  • award transport payments (paid under an industrial law or award that was in force on 29 October 1986)
  • tool, clothing and laundry allowances
  • dirt, height, site, first aid and risk allowances
  • meal and entertainment allowances.

If you received a travel or an overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial law, award or agreement, do not show it on your tax return if:

  • you spent the whole amount on deductible expenses
  • it was not shown on your payment summary, and
  • it does not exceed the Commissioner's reasonable allowance amount.

You cannot claim deductions for expenses that you paid for with that allowance. For more information, see Taxation Determination TD 2017/19 Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2017–18 income year?