Tax Deductions For Factory Workers

(last updated 28/04/2014)

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If you work as a factory worker, here is a checklist of some of the tax deductions you may be able to claim on your personal tax return.

Meals and Travel  

  • The cost of buying overtime meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer. Providing the deduction for overtime meals does not exceed the ATO's reasonable allowance, substantiation is not required - for the current rate see Claiming Overtime Meal Allowance.
  • The cost of meals and incidental expenses when you are required to stay away from home overnight for work (if you receive an allowance from your employer, you can claim the full amount of that allowance provided it is shown on your PAYG payment summary). If you didn’t receive an allowance, you should keep receipts to prove the amount you have spent on all meals and accommodation - see Claiming Travel Allowance
  • The cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, meetings and training courses not held at your usual place of work (if you need to stay away overnight you can also claim for the cost of all meals and your accommodation)  
  • The cost of bridge and road tolls paid while driving the between your depot and your client’s depot (but NOT while driving to and from work)  
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to attend meetings, attend training courses, pick up supplies and driving between or around job sites (to claim for car costs it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes and then we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year)  - see Claiming Work Related Car Expenses.
  • You can claim the cost of using your own car to travel to and from work, BUT only if you are required to carry bulky tools and equipment for your work AND there is no secure area to leave these items on site overnight - see Claiming Work Related Car Expenses.

Work Clothing  

  • The cost of buying uniforms (including shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers provided the uniforms have the business’s logo on it) - see our post Claming Work Clothes and Uniforms
  • The cost of laundry, dry cleaning or repairs of your uniforms  
  • The cost of buying sun protection items (including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and sun-protection shirts or jackets) 
  • The cost of buying other protective equipment that is not supplied by your employer (including overalls, gloves, goggles, masks, steel-capped boots, high visibility vests and winter outdoor jackets)

Work Related Car Expense

For somefactory workers, car expenses can be an allowable deduction where they transport heavy or bulky tool or equipment to or from home etc.

Transport or car expenses include public transport fares and the running costs associated with using motor vehicles, motor cycles, bicycles, etc., for work-related travel. Following is a brief checklist of car expenses specifically for factory workers.
  • Travel between home and work - A deduction is not allowable for the cost of travel between home and the normal work place as it is generally considered to be a private expense. This principle is not altered by the performance of incidental tasks en route.
  • Travel between home and work - transporting bulky equipment - A deduction is allowable if the transport expenses can be attributed to the transportation of bulky equipment rather than to private travel between home and work. A deduction is not allowable if the equipment is transported to and from work as a matter of convenience. A deduction is not allowable if a secure area for the storage of equipment is provided at the workplace.
  • Travel between home and work where home is a base of operations and work is commenced at home - A deduction is allowable for transport expenses if they can be attributed to travelling on work, as distinct from travelling to work, i.e., where your home is used as a base of operations and his or her work has commenced before leaving home.
  • Travel between home and shifting places of work - A deduction is allowable for the transport expenses incurred in travelling between home and shifting places of work, where the factory worker is required by the nature of the job itself to do the job in more than one place. The mere fact that a factoryworker may choose to do part of the job in a place separate from that where the job is located, is not enough.
  • Travel between two separate work places if there are two separate employers involved - A deduction is allowable for the cost of travelling directly between two places of employment.
  • Travel from the normal work place to an alternate work place while still on duty and back to the normal work place or directly home - A deduction is allowable for the cost of travel from the normal work place to other work places. A deduction is also allowable for the cost of travel from the alternate work place back to the normal work place or directly home. This travel is undertaken in the course of gaining assessable income and is an allowable deduction.
  • Travel from home to an alternate work place for work-related purposes and then to the normal work place or directly home - A deduction is allowable for the cost of travel from home to an alternate work place and then on to the normal work place or directly home.
  • Travel between two places of employment or between a place of employment and a place of business - A deduction is allowable for the cost of travel directly between two places of employment or a place of employment and a place of business, provided that the travel is undertaken for the purpose of carrying out income-earning activities.
  • Travel in connection with self education  - See Self education.

Training

  • The cost of work-related short training courses (for example first aid, OH&S, truck and heavy equipment driving, vehicle maintenance) that are not run by a University or TAFE. You can claim for the cost of any course fees, books, stationery, Internet connection, telephone calls, tools or equipment and travelling to and from the course. You can also claim any accommodation and meal expenses you have to pay if you are required to stay away overnight for your course
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP fees) or TAFE that directly relate to your current work. If you are studying you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment and travel required for your course

Work Tools & Equipment  

  • The cost of buying and repairing equipment you use at work (including tools, CB radio, portable refrigerator, sleeping bag, electronic organisers, laptop computers and mobile phones)
  • The cost of any repairs, maintenance, spillage or cleaning of equipment (provided you are not reimbursed by your employer for these costs)  
  • The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work (for example safety gear, first aid equipment, backpack or belt bag)  
  • The cost of stationery, diary, log books, work bag or briefcase

Other Work Expenses 

  • The cost of annual memberships or union fees (for example Transport Workers Union fees)  
  • The cost of renewing machinery or truck licences and tickets that are required for your work, but not including your normal drivers licence  
  • The cost of work-related books, magazines and journals   
  • The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rental (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year)  
  • The cost of work-related Internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job and research for your training courses)

General Expenses

There are some tax deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns:
  • The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items)  
  • The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts  
  • The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work – if you don’t have this insurance you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile)  
  • Your tax agent fees (the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year)  
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation etc)
We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are work related, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.

For further details see this ATO summary.

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