Tax Return Deductions: What can I claim if I am a tradie, plumber, mechanic, roof tiler, concreter, painter, carpenter, handy man, bricklayer, and arborist?

To claim a deduction for any work-related expenses a few rules have to be followed:

  • The expense you want to claim must been have spent by yourself.
  • Your employer did not reimburse the expenses to you.
  • There must be a direct link/relation between the expense and your work (or earning your income)
  • There must be record to substitute the claim, such as Invoice, bank statement and /or any other records like diary entries stating the purpose of expense.

Examples of assets include:

  • drills
  • electric sanders
  • electric saws
  • grinders
  • leaf blowers
  • lawn mowers
  • nail guns
  • ladders
  • ute tool boxes
  • work lights
  • high pressure water cleaners
  • concrete mixers.
Type of Expense for employeesWhat you can claimWhat you cannot claim
Car ExpensesDrive between separate jobs on the same day [Job A to job B]drive to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day [Site A to Site B]

There are 2 Methods to claim Car Expenses
Drive between Home to work or work to home.You may be able to claim travel between home to work only if you carry Bulky Equipment to work and there is no storage space in your workplace and your employer has specifically instructed you to take the equipment home.Heavy equipment usually require vehicle like UTE, Van etc.
Clothing and LaundryDeductions for the cost of buying, hiring, mending or cleaning certain uniforms that are unique and distinctive to your job – usually a uniform will logo.

Protective clothing your employer requires you to wearhi-vis vests,steel-capped boots andsafety glassesprotective equipment such as sunscreen, sunhats and sunglasses where you are required to work outdoors.
No deduction for everyday plain clothes even if you are required to wear plain clothes such as Black pants and white shirt etc.
Education ExpensesA deduction for self-education expenses if your course relates directly to your current job, and improves and maintains your skills in current job.A deduction cannot be claimed if the course helps you to get a new job say – you become a chef or lawyer
Other ExpensesA deduction for tools or equipment you are required to buy for your job.

Meals – overtime meal expenses – for food and drink when working overtime – reasonable claim as per ATO is $30.05 per meal for 2017-2018 year.Phone Calls – phone calls and internet usage can be claimed if your employer needs you to use your personal devices for work and you are on call most of the times.

Agency commissions and agency fees – you can claim a deduction for commission payments you made to a nursing agency.

Annual practising certificate fees

First aid courses

Construction Tickets

Construction Licenses

Home office – you may be entitled to claim deductions for running costs usually 45 cents per hour if your employer requires you to work from home.

Stationery if you use them for work.

Technical or professional publications cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have a content specifically related to your employment as a nurse.

Repairs to tools and equipment used for work.

Union and professional association fees

Tax agent fee
Meals – You can only claim overtime meals if you get paid overtime meals and your PAYG Summary actually shows overtime meals allowance and you have kept a record such as diary entry of the expenses and receipts if the claim is more than the reasonable amount.

Phone Calls – Private phone calls and internet usage cannot be claimed, so you will need to apportion the work and private use. You can take a phone bill and check how many calls are work related and private and can calculate %age of work and private phone calls.

Child care fees

Drivers licence


Glasses and contact lenses

Personal Grooming including hairdressing, cosmetics, hair and skin products.


Removal and relocation


Buying assets for your small business if you are ABN holder:

Small business cans immediately write-off assets costing less than $20,000 each up-to 30 June 2018, you can deduct the business portion in your 2018 tax return. This deduction applies to most assets, and it does not matter if you bought is new or second-hand.

In the latest Federal Budget, the Government proposed extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off threshold to 30 June 2019. This change is not law yet.