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The Complete Guide to FIFO Tax Deductions

fifo workers tax deductionsThere a number of tax deductions available to FIFO employees, and it can be quite difficult to sort out what you’re eligible for. To help cut through the confusion, we’ve compiled a list of tax deductions that all FIFO workers need to be aware of. We’ve spent over 20 years helping FIFO employees to maximise their return, and this is just another way for us to make doing your tax easier.

Fly in Fly Out Tax Deductions: Meals and Travel

  • If you receive a meal allowance from your employer that is based on an Industrial Award, you can claim the cost of meals when working overtime. It is recommended to keep these claims within the ATO’s allowable limit.
  • If you are required to travel to an alternative place of work for a meeting, seminar, training, conference or any other work-related activity, you can claim any travel expenses incurred.
  • Unfortunately the ATO have deemed the cost of travelling between your home and your FIFO work site as a private expense, and therefore travel to and from the airport, airfares etc cannot be claimed as a deduction.
  • If you use a personal car for work purposes (attending conference, seminars, training, etc.) you can claim the cost of using this vehicle. Just make sure you keep a diary detailing how many kilometres you travel. Visit our Vehicle Tax Deductions page for more information on vehicle tax rebates.

Fly in Fly Out Tax Deductions: Uniforms and Protective Clothing

  • The cost of purchasing specific employment uniform can be claimed, as long as it features your employer’s logo. Conventional clothing items such ass jeans, socks, runners, and suits cannot be claimed as work expenses.
  • Protective clothing items, such as gloves, masks, glasses, steel-cap boots and high-visibility clothing can all be claimed on your return.
  • Items used for sun protection, including glasses, hats and sunscreen can all be counted as tax deductions.
  • Expenses incurred in renting, repairing and cleaning any eligible clothing can be claimed, as long as the following provisions are taken into account:
    • No written documentation is required for claims under $150
    • For the purposes of claiming, the ATO calculates the cost of laundry at $1 per load for work-related clothing and 50 cents per load if other laundry items have been included.
    • If you want to claim for dry-cleaning or repairs you need to keep all receipts.
    • If you are claiming dry-cleaning or clothing repairs, you are required to keep receipts.

Fly in Fly Out Tax Deductions: Equipment and Tools

  • If you have made any purchases of less than $300 for work-related tools and equipment you can claim an immediate deduction. For items worth more than $300, you need to claim for depreciation over the useful life of the item.
  • Your claim will need to reflect the percentage you use the item for work and private purposes and only claim the business percentage.
  • Typical equipment and tools eligible for a tax deduction include:
  • Power tools and equipment
  • Electronic equipment such as computers, iPads and mobile phones
  • Materials or supplies that you buy for use at work such as safety gear, beacons, first aid and GPS equipment

Fly in Fly Out Tax Deductions: Other Work Related Expenses

Apart from the deductions listed above, eligible FIFO workers can also claim the following:

  • Annual membership or union fees, such as CFMEU fees
  • Fees to renew machinery operating licences and tickets required for your work (apart from a normal driver’s licence)

Fly in Fly Out Tax Deductions: General Expenses

The following deductions can be claimed by all eligible Australian taxpayers, regardless of their profession:

  • Conference and seminar fees
  • Reference books
  • Self-education
  • Telephone and internet fees (for the work-related portion only)
  • Home office costs
  • Tax agent fees
  • Donations to registered charities
  • Income Protection Insurance

For even more general expenses and potential deductions, visit our Typical Tax Deductions page.

We understand that FIFO workers want to make the most of their precious time at home, and that’s why we created our fast, easy and affordable online tax return submission service where you have access to professional support and advice from the comfort of your home or while you are working away.  The process usually only takes 20 minutes, you’ll get your return in 10-14 days, and your return will be checked over by one of our talented tax agents before it is submitted to the ATO.

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