What Can You Claim at Tax Time?

Disclaimer – We’re not accountants or tax experts. Please make sure you get your own advice from a qualified professional.

You know how everyone’s a horse racing expert at Melbourne Cup time? The same thing happens when tax season rolls around. Your mate who ‘knows you should be claiming your car expenses, your uncle who ‘had a mate that was an accountant’ and well-meaning colleagues who have definitely ‘got away with it for years.’

Here’s what you can and can’t claim in the beauty and aesthetics industry:

Clothing

This is the most commonly asked question (apart from grooming which we’ll cover in a moment). If like most of us, you have a uniform, you can claim costs such as cleaning, repair and purchase. If you don’t have a uniform that is branded (the ATO says ‘sufficiently distinctive to your organisation), then all these costs are not claimable. You also cannot claim for clothing that falls into ‘conventional clothing.’ This means that even if you must wear a certain type of clothing (black pants with a white top) none of the costs associated are claimable.

Grooming

Some workplaces have very strict grooming rules including hair and skin requirements. Regardless, you cannot claim for ‘private grooming expenses.’ This includes cosmetics, hair products, and skin products (even from your own clinic.) All grooming is considered to be a private expense. Sorry.

Travel

You can’t claim travel to and from work. Simple as that and regardless of the hours (late nights) and location. If you travel a long way to work, it’s still classed as a normal trip.

But, if you travel between clinics, you can claim for travel between those locations. Also, if you have to work in a different location occasionally (your normal place of work is clinic 1, but you’re sent to clinic 2 every now and then), you can claim those travel expenses.

Tools of Trade

Usually, we don’t need to worry about equipment too much, but with Covid having happened, it may be important. If you purchased protective equipment such as gloves, face masks, sanitiser etc, you can claim that. Your vaccinations are not claimable. Equipment that is a requirement of your current role can be claimed.

Education

Self-education expenses are claimable, as long as they relate to your current role. For example, if you’re currently a clinician and you’re training in HR to further yourself, that expense is not claimable.

Professional memberships are also claimable.

Importantly, if your employer has reimbursed you for an expense, you cannot claim it.

We hope this list has proved useful. Remember, if you’re not sure (and even if you think you are) get professional advice – it’ll probably cost less in the long run.