As a flight crew member, knowing exactly what you can and cannot claim for on your tax return can sometimes be a little confusing. In this post, we outline the different types of information you need to account for and outline some of the common work-related expenses that flight crew from Australia include on their tax return.

Allowances, Salary, Allowances, and Reimbursements

Each year, your employer will provide you with a summary of your whole-year salary, allowance, and wages. When you complete a tax return, you will need to include this same information on your form.

The ATO guidance for work-related expenses are below:

  1. You must have paid for it yourself without any reimbursement.
  2. It must be an expense that is directly related to earning your income.
  3. You must have a record or proof of the expense.

Next, we outline some examples of the types of expenses flight crew can claim for.

Self-Education Expenses

When you can claimIf you take a course of any type that is directly related to your current position, such as updating a first-aid certification, then you can claim a deduction for education expenses.

When you cannot claimIf your study is directly connected to helping you get a new job or is general studies, for instance, training to become a member of the air traffic control team when you work as cabin crew, then you cannot claim a deduction for this.

Meal Expenses

When you can claimIf you travel away overnight, or you work overtime, then you can claim a deduction for these meals.

When you cannot claimFor any meals that you buy during the course of a normal days’ work, this is classified as a private expense, and you cannot claim a deduction for this expense.

Clothing and Grooming Expenses

When you can claimIf you need to buy a uniform item that is unique to your role, then you can claim this as a deduction. If you buy re-hydrating products for your face or hair, then you can also claim these as a deductible due to the impact on your face and hair when working in a pressurised environment. If your employer imposes specific requirements for the type of shoes you can wear, for instance, with a heel height limitation, then you can also claim these shoes as a deductible.

When you cannot claimFor any plain clothing that is worn at work or for general cosmetics, hair products, and make-up; these cannot be claimed as a deductible. Although your employer may provide you with an allowance for these items, they are not classified as a work-related expense.

As a flight crew member, there is a range of other specific items you can claim a deduction for. Some examples of items the ATO deem as acceptable are listed below.

  • Professional association fees
  • Bags or luggage used for work-related purposes only
  • Professional publications
  • Visa application fees
  • The work-related portion of phone/internet expenses if you use your personal phone