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myTax 2020 Other work-related expenses

How to claim other work-related expense deductions when you lodge your return using myTax.

Last updated 9 July 2020

Complete this section if you incurred any other work-related expenses as an employee and have not already claimed anywhere else on your tax return.

Things to know

To claim a deduction for a work-related expense:

  • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
  • it must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it (usually a receipt).

If your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300, you must have written evidence to prove your claims.

You can claim

Other work-related expenses include:

  • union fees and subscriptions to trade, business or professional associations
  • overtime meal expenses, provided that    
    • you received a genuine overtime meal allowance from your employer that was paid under an industrial law, award or agreement
      (An amount for overtime meals that has been included as part of your normal salary and wages – for example, under a workplace agreement – is not an overtime meal allowance.)
    • you purchased and consumed a meal during your overtime
    • you have included the amount of the meal allowance as income at Salary, wages, allowances, tips, bonuses, and
    • if your claim was more than $31.25 per meal, you have written evidence such as receipts that shows the cost of the meals.
  • professional seminars, courses, conferences and workshops
  • reference books, technical journals and trade magazines
  • the work-related portion of tools and equipment and professional libraries.  
    • you may be able to claim an immediate deduction for an item that cost $300 or less
    • otherwise, claim a deduction for the decline in value of an item over its effective life. See Guide to depreciating assets  
  • the work-related portion of items that protect you from the risk of injury or illness posed by your work or your work environment, such as hard hats, safety glasses, sunscreens and other protective items due to COVID-19. See Protective items, equipment and products
  • the work-related portion of the following costs   
    • interest on money borrowed to buy a computer
    • repair costs for the computer
    • the decline in value of
      • the computer
      • your home office furniture and fittings
    • internet access charges
    • phone calls
    • phone rental if you can show you were on call or were regularly required to phone your employer or clients while away from your workplace
    • additional running expenses incurred as a result of working from home.

Claim at this section any work-related expenses incurred in earning assessable foreign employment income shown on an income statement or PAYG payment summaryforeign employment provided you have not already claimed the expense at another section.

You may need to make a balancing adjustment if you no longer own or use an item costing over $300 and you previously claimed a deduction for its decline in value. See What happens if you no longer hold or use a depreciating asset?

Home office expenses

For the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020

For the period 1 July 2019 to 29 February 2020

You may choose to use:

  • the fixed rate or actual cost method for the period 1 July 2019 to 29 February 2020, and then
  • the shortcut method for the period 1 March to 30 June 2020.

To work out your claim, use the Home office expenses calculatorsThis link opens in a new window.

Shortcut method

Claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for each hour you work from home during the period 1 March to 30 June 2020. Anyone working from home in this period can use this shortcut method. The shortcut method can be used by multiple people working from home in the same house.

You can choose to use this rate if you:

  • worked from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls
  • incurred additional deductible running expenses as a result or working from home.

The shortcut method covers all your work from home expenses such as:

  • phone expenses
  • internet expenses
  • the decline in value of equipment and furniture
  • electricity and gas for heating, cooling and lighting.

If you use this method, you can't claim any other expenses for working from home.

You don't need to have a dedicated work area to use this method.

You must keep a record of the number of hours you have worked from home. This could be a timesheet, roster, a diary or documents that set out the hours you worked from home.

Fixed rate method

Claim all of these:

  • a rate of 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning and the decline in value of office furniture
  • the work-related portion of your actual costs of phone and internet expenses, computer consumables, stationery
  • the work-related portion of the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.

To learn more, visit fixed rate method.

Actual cost method

Claim the actual work-related portion of all your running expenses, which you need to calculate on a reasonable basis.

To learn more, visit actual cost method.

See also  

You can't claim

You can't claim a deduction for:

  • the cost of entertainment, fines and penalties
  • private expenses, such as child care expenses and fees paid to social clubs
  • coffee, tea, milk and other general household items your employer may otherwise have provided you with at work
  • costs related to children and their education including setting them up for online learning, teaching them at home or buying equipment such as iPads and desks
  • the decline in value of items primarily for use in your employment if the item was provided to you by your employer, or some or all of the cost of the item was paid or reimbursed by your employer, and the benefit was exempt from fringe benefits tax. Items include laptops, portable printers, personal digital assistants, calculators, mobile phones, computer software, protective clothing, briefcases and tools of trade.

Generally, you can't claim a deduction for occupancy expenses such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and insurance.

Do not show at this section

Do not show the following at this section:

  • Expenses you incurred in earning assessable foreign employment income not shown on an income statement or PAYG payment summaryforeign employment, go to Foreign employment.
  • Any balancing adjustment profit, go to Other income. Any balancing adjustment profit calculated in the Depreciation and capital allowances tool shows automatically at Other income.
  • Expenses you incurred for protective clothing and footwear, go to Work-related uniform, occupation specific or protective clothing.

Completing this section

You may need:

  • statements from your bank, building society or credit union
  • receipts, invoices or written evidence from your supplier or association
  • other written evidence.


  • pre-fill your tax return with other work-related expense information you uploaded from myDeductions
  • show your union and professional fees from the Income statements and payment summaries section.

Check them and add any other work-related expenses that have not pre-filled.

To claim other work-related expenses, you must first show income from salary and wages or foreign employment income in the Income statements and payment summaries section.

To personalise your return to show other work-related expenses, at Personalise return select:

  • You have deductions you want to claim.
  • Work-related expenses.

To show your other work-related expenses, at Prepare return select 'Add/Edit' at the Deductions banner.

At the Other work-related expenses banner:

  1. For each other work-related expense not pre-filled in your tax return, select Add, and    
    • Enter Your description. To assist in record keeping, add a short description of your expense.
      If you're using the new shortcut method to claim a deduction for home office expenses, include 'COVID-hourly rate' in your description.
    • Enter the Amount.
      If you're using the new shortcut method to claim a deduction for home office expenses, include the dollar amount (not the number of hours you are claiming for).

      The Depreciation and capital allowances tool can help you to work out any decline in value. It can also work out any deductible balancing adjustment when you stop holding a depreciating asset. Access this tool when you add your other work-related expenses.
      Fields from this tool can't be adjusted in myTax. To make any adjustments, or to add new assets to the tool, select 'Use the depreciation and capital allowances tool' link.
  2. Select Save.
  3. Select Save and continue when you have completed the Deductions section.

Watch: The following video shows you how to use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool.

Media: How to use the Depreciation and capital allowance tool Link (Duration: 03:18)

You can watch How to use the Depreciation and capital allowance toolExternal Link in full screen on atoTV.

See also