Tips For Managing Work-Related Expenses

When tax time comes around each year, keeping track of all of your expenses is essential to make sure we get the most out of our return. The goal of this article is to provide you with a guide to claiming your work-related expenses – what to claim, how to manage them as well as some tips to help you get the most out of your expenses.

What Are Work-Related Expenses?

A work-related expense refers to any expense incurred while performing your duties at work or, for work. Although there are criteria in place that must be satisfied, including:

  • Expenses must be directly related to earning your income
  • Evidence to support your claim, such as a receipt
  • You must have spent the money and not reimbursed by your employer.

What Are Work-Related Expenses?

The types of work-related expenses you claim are broken up into categories – travel, clothing and laundry, and work from home expenses. If your work-related deductions fall within these categories, you can claim them on your tax return. But what can you claim exactly?

Travel-related Expenses

Travel expenses can include:

  • Driving your car, ute, van or motorcycle
  • Ride-share and ride-sourcing
  • Flights
  • Catching a train, taxi, boat, bus or other vehicle.

Clothing and Laundry-related Expenses

Clothing and laundry expenses can include:

  • Protective clothing e.g. sun protection clothing, steel-capped boots, safety-coloured vests, or non-slip nurse’s shoes
  • Occupation-specific clothing e.g., robes worn by barristers or a chef’s checked pants
  • Uniform e.g., non-compulsory (registered with AusIndustry) or compulsory.

You can also claim a deduction for the costs you incur to clean (launder) or dry-clean work clothing, though you will need to provide evidence of the following that:

  • You’ve bought the clothing
  • Includes the amount you spent
  • Includes your cleaning costs.

According to the ATO, you cannot claim a deduction if your employer:

  • buys, repairs, replaces or cleans your work clothing
  • reimburses you for expenses you incur on or for work clothing.

Work From Home Expenses

Work from home expenses can include:

  • Electricity expenses for heating or cooling and lighting
  • The replacement of office furniture and furnishings as well other items used for work – for example, a laptop
  • Internet expenses
  • Telephone expenses.

Other Work-Related Expenses

It is possible to claim a deduction on self-education and study expenses if they are related to your current employment. To be eligible for this kind of claim, the education must lead to a formal qualification and meet these criteria:

  • Maintains or improves the specific skills or knowledge you require in your current employment
  • Results in – or likely to lead to – an increase in future income from your current employment.

You can’t claim a deduction for self-education and study expenses for a course that:

  • Doesn’t have a sufficient connection to your current work activities
  • Only relates in a general way to your current employment – such as undertaking a full-time fashion photography course and working as a casual sales assistant on the weekends
  • Enables you to get new employment or change employment – such as moving from employment as a nurse to employment as a doctor.

Tips To Manage Work-Related Expenses

The most significant things you can start doing today is recording and keeping track of your expenses. There are many simple ways to do this including making a list, but if you want the most accurate recording of your expenses, there is expense tracking software available:


The accounting software Xero has a great feature that is perfect for keeping track of your deductions. You’ll have the ability to record expenses with the Expense Tracker and an enormous range of exclusive features that can help you to stay on top of your finances.

Please note that while this app has a free trial, it is not free to use.


The myDeductions app from the ATO is free to use and makes it easier to keep your expenses and income in the one place. The tool makes it easier and more convenient to keep records of your expenses and income in one place, including photos of your receipts and invoices.

How Much Work-Related Expenses Can I Claim?

We’ve saved the best for last, and this is important if you want to get the most out of your tax return this year – always keep a record of your expenses!

Without receipts or any evidence of your work-related expenses, you can only claim up to a maximum of $300

For more informative articles like this one, check out or Tips to Help You Lodge Your Tax Return.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.