ATO targeting work-related expenses

The Tax Office is reminding individuals that they can only claim a work-related deduction if: 

  • they have spent the money themselves and were not reimbursed 
  • it is directly related to earning their income 
  • there is a record to prove it. 

Expenses that cover both work and private purposes must be apportioned - you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion. 

Common mistakes include claiming ineligible clothing, claiming for something without having spent the money and not being able to explain the basis for how the claim was calculated. 

The ATO has clarified it is a myth that you can claim a standard deduction of $150 without spending money on appropriate clothing or laundry. To claim a deduction for clothing, it needs to be occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing or a uniform that is unique to the organisation you work for. 

Before claiming a deduction for any work-related expenses, individuals must consider if their employer would confirm the expenses were required to earn their income and that they were not reimbursed. Remember, receiving an allowance from an employer does not necessarily entitle you to a deduction.