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How to claim work-related expenses this tax time

When you want to find out what public servants can and can’t claim at tax time, it’s best to hear it from the source itself: the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

There are three golden rules for claiming a work-related deduction:

  • 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.

The ATO has created a poster that shows what public servants can and can’t claim in relation to car, clothing, self-education and home office expenses. Download a copy from www.ato.gov.au/office19.

If you work outside of a regular office, you may have even more to claim. Read about:

  • car expenses
  • working from home
  • travel expenses
  • clothing and laundry.

More tax tips

  • Remember, you’re accountable for the claims you make in your tax return, even if you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge it on your behalf. Make sure you have records to prove your claims.

  • The best time to lodge your tax return is mid-August, when all financial information the ATO receives from employers, banks, government agencies and more, will be pre-filled.

For more information, or to see the guides available for other occupations go to www.ato.gov.au/occupations.  


Last reviewed: 
2 July 2019