Tax Guide: Industry, Building and Construction Employees -
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Tax Guide: Industry, Building and Construction Employees

There are a number of tax deductions specific for industry, building and construction employees. Below we have broken these deductions down into categories to provide you clear advice for your tax preparation.


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You may claim the cost of parking, tolls, taxis and public transport, attending meetings, seminars, conferences, or training that is not being held at your usual place of work.


If during this travel you are required to stay overnight, you can claim the cost of accommodation and any meals consumed.


You may claim the cost of your personal car if it is used for work purposes, including travel between and/or around work sites, attending meetings, conferences or training that is not held at your usual place of work.


You may also be able to claim your travel from home to work if you have to carry bulky tools or equipment, If you do plan on claiming the cost of using your personal vehicle, it is best to keep a logbook of the number of kilometres travelled for work purposes.


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As long as your employer doesn’t reimburse the expenses you can claim meals, accommodation, incidentals and travel costs (vehicle, airfares, public transport and taxi fares) associated with overnight stays for work.

Uniforms and protective clothing

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You can claim the cost of a purchasing and repairing uniforms with a company logo.


You can claim the cost of protective clothing and footwear that may be required to perform your duties such as:


Overalls, heavy duty shirts and pants, fire resistant clothing, safety vests, gloves, glasses, masks, steel-capped boots, gum boots or sun protection clothing
The cost of buying sun protection items, including sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, if you are required to work outdoors


The cost of laundry or dry cleaning of your uniforms
If your tax deduction claim for laundry is under $150, no written documentation is required. The ATO calculates the cost of laundry at $1 per load of work-related clothing, or 50 cents per load if other laundry items are included.


If you are claiming dry-cleaning or clothing repairs, you are required to keep receipts.


Watches and timepieces
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing and repairing an ordinary wristwatch, including waterproof watches. However, if your watch has special characteristics that you use for work, you can claim a deduction.

Training and study

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The cost of work-related short training courses, provided the course is connected to your current employment at the time of study, for example you can claim a deduction for the cost of first aid training courses if you are required to undertake first aid training to assist in emergency work situations.


The cost of university or TAFE courses can be claimed if:
  1. You pay for the course upfront rather than use HECS or HELP.
  2. The course is related to your current employment


You can also claim for the cost of travel, accommodation, meal expenses, home office expenses incurred as a result of the study. For any books, stationery, photocopying and equipment required for your study and you can also claim for interest on loans for course fees or equipment.

Equipment and tools

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You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and repairing equipment and tools used in your course of work duties, such as:


Tools and equipment specifically used as part of your employment
Computers, tablets and mobile phones
Backpacks and laptop carry bags


The cost of insuring your tools and equipment


You can claim a tax deduction for work related equipment and tools that cost less than $300 each. Items worth more than $300 each must be depreciated over the useful life.

General expenses

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There is a range of general tax deductions, available to all Australians, regardless of profession or occupation, including:


  • Membership fees related to your work
  • The cost of work-related reference books or subscriptions to professional journals and magazines
  • Telephone and internet fees (for the work related portion only)
  • Home office costs
  • Tax agent fees
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent
  • Donations to registered charities
  • Income Protection Insurance
  • Bank fees charged on any investment accounts

Supporting your claim

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If your total claims for work-related expenses add up to more than $300 – excluding claims for car, meal allowance, award transport payment allowance and travel allowance expenses – you must keep written evidence, such as receipts. You must keep written evidence for the full amount of your claim, not just the amount over the first $300.


If the total amount you are claiming for work-related expenses is $300 or less, you do not need to keep receipts, but you must be able to show how you worked out your claims.


You need to keep written evidence of your work-related expenses for five years from the due date for lodging your tax return. If you lodge your tax return after the due date, the five years start from the date you lodged your tax return.