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  • Other work-related expenses

    You may be able to claim a deduction for the following work-related expenses.

    Cash or bar shortages

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of making up cash or bar shortages.

    Internet and computer

    You can claim the work-related proportion of your internet access or internet expense or the decline in value of your computer, laptop or notebook where you use the internet or computer in the course of carrying out your work-related activities.

    Example 15: Diary records for use of computer

    Simone's internet use diary showed 10% of her internet time was for work-related activities and 90% was for private use. As her ISP charge for the year was $1,200, she can claim:

    • $1,200 × 10% = $120 as work-related internet use.
    End of example


    Example 16: Calculating the apportionment of your computer

    Michelle uses her computer and personal internet account at home to access and bid for work, check her roster for changes and access company manuals. Michelle uses her computer and the internet:

    • 20% for work purposes
    • 80% for private purposes.

    This means Michelle can claim 20% of the depreciation of her computer and 20% of her internet costs.

    End of example

    A depreciating asset, such as a computer, is an asset that has a limited effective life and can reasonably be expected to decline in value over the time you use it.

    If you purchase a computer that cost more than $300, you can only claim a deduction for its decline in value. 

    Next step:

    Example 17: Calculating decline in value of a computer

    Michelle purchased her computer on 5 September for $3,000 and has worked out that she uses it 20% for work purposes. Michelle has held the computer for 300 days. Michelle looks up the effective life of depreciating assets on our website that says the effective life of a computer is four years. Michelle uses the prime cost method to work out the decline in value of her computer. The decline in value for the prime cost method is worked out using the formula:

    Asset's cost × (days held ÷ 365) × (100% ÷ asset's effective life) × Work use percentage.

    Note: Days held can be 366 in a leap year.

    Michelle's calculation is:

    • $3,000 × (300 ÷ 365) × (100% ÷ 4 years) × 20%

    So, Michelle claims $123 for the decline in value of her computer in the first year.

    End of example


    A deduction is allowable for decline in value (depreciation) on luggage to the extent of the work-related use of the luggage. This includes:

    • travel bags
    • overnight bags
    • suit packs
    • navigation bags
    • suitcases
    • luggage trolleys.

    Example 18: Claiming luggage

    Anjelica purchased luggage valued at $250. She uses the luggage for work purposes only. Since the luggage did not cost more than $300, Anjelica is entitled to an immediate deduction of $250.

    End of example

    Phone expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of work-related phone calls you make, including calls from mobile phones. You can also claim the work-related proportion of your 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.

    Work-related calls may be identified from an itemised account. If an itemised account is not provided by the phone company, records (such as diary entries) covering a representative four-week period will be accepted as establishing a pattern of your phone use for the entire year. You can also apply this percentage of work use to your phone rental costs, to apportion the amount of rental costs you can claim.

    Example 19: Calculating the apportionment of telephone expenses

    Lily uses her mobile phone for work purposes. She is on a set mobile phone plan of $49 a month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    Lily receives an itemised account from her phone provider each month by email that includes details of the individual calls she has made.

    At least once a year, and sometimes two or three times, Lily prints out her account and highlights the work-related calls she has made. She makes notes on her account for the first month about who she is calling for work – her employer, parents and so on.

    Out of the 200 calls she makes in a four-week period, she works out that 30 calls (15%) are for work and applies that percentage to her cap amount of $49 a month. The other two months Lily reviews are consistent with this.

    Since Lily was only at work for 38 weeks of the year, she calculates her work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    (By only working 38 weeks in the year, this equates to 8.8 months.)

    • 8.8 months × $49 × 15% = $65
    End of example

    Rehydrating moisturisers and conditioner

    For flight attendants, a deduction for rehydrating moisturiser and rehydrating hair conditioner is allowable when used to combat the drying effects on the skin and hair when constantly exposed to harsh working conditions and to meet the employer's strict grooming requirements. For example, drying conditions brought about by constant exposure to the low humidity of the pressurised airline cabin.

    Example 20: Claiming for product use

    Gabrielle is an international flight attendant and needs to apply rehydrating moisturiser and rehydrating hair conditioner because of the harsh working conditions due to the airline cabin pressure and a requirement from her employer that she be well groomed.

    Gabrielle can claim a deduction for the cost of the rehydrating moisturiser and rehydrating hair conditioner that she uses on days she is flying because the expense is sufficiently connected to her income-earning activities. If Gabrielle uses the moisturisers and conditioner on the days that she is not flying, she will have to apportion the expense and claim only for the work-related use of the items.

    End of example


    You can claim a deduction for the cost of stationery items to the extent that you use them for work, such as:

    • street directories
    • logbooks
    • diaries
    • pens
    • other stationery.

    Sunglasses and sunscreens

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of sunglasses and sunscreen lotions if the nature of your work requires you to work in the sun for all or part of the day and you use these items to protect yourself from the sun while at work – for example, if you work on the tarmac to assist passengers to board the aircraft. You will have to apportion the expenses if you also use the items for private purposes.

    Sunglasses and sunscreens are claimed at D5 Other work-related expenses.

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for annual union and professional association fees. If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary, you can use it to prove your claim. You can claim a deduction for a levy paid in certain circumstances – for example, to protect the interests of members and their jobs.

    You cannot claim a deduction for levies or other amounts paid to assist families of employees suffering financial difficulties as a result of employees being on strike or having been laid off.

    Other work-related expenses you can't claim

    You cannot claim a deduction for the following other work-related expenses.

    Grooming (cosmetics, skin care, hairdressing)

    As a flight attendant, you may be required by your employer to be well groomed and presentable. Even if you are required to wear make-up by the airline, such costs are private in nature and not deductible.

    A deduction is not allowable for the cost of items, such as:

    • cosmetics
    • shaving products
    • deodorant
    • general hair products
    • nail polish
    • toiletry bags
    • general skin care products
    • expenditure on hairdressing.

    Product knowledge

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of acquiring product knowledge, for example on cheese, wine and travel as this is not sufficiently related to your income-earning activities.

    Timepieces and watches

    You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of buying or maintaining timepieces, even if they are required as part of your uniform, as this is a private expense.

    Travel insurance

    You cannot claim a deduction for travel insurance as this is a private expense.

      Last modified: 16 Aug 2017QC 24416