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Tax Deductions for Chefs & Cooks

Not claiming all your deductions is like leaving the ATO a tip a tax time to thank them! Read on to make sure you know what you can deduct this tax time so you’re not leaving the ATO a tip.

Alright everyone listen up, one lot of tax deductions for the chefs tax return table. Don’t forget the laundry expenses! Jokes aside, you should be making sure you deduct everything you can for chef tax deductions. What can chefs claim on tax? Here are some tax deductible expenses for chefs and kitchen hands. Don’t leave anything out of your online tax return. If you save every little bit, and deduct everything you’re entitled to, the return can be massive.

When it comes down to it, there are three main criteria that qualifies an expense for tax deduction, which is calculated against your income: 

  • You must have spent the money and not have been reimbursed 
  • It must be related to your job
  • You must have a record to prove it

However, this in itself can be hard to understand. What constitutes an expense as “related” to your job? Here is what defines your taxable income, and a list of deductions for chefs.

Remember, a record isn’t necessarily a receipt. There are tax deductions you can claim without a receipt. Continue on to find out more.

What Is Your Taxable Income

Your taxable chef income is money generated from your employer or your work. Your taxable income also includes:

  • PAYG summaries 
  • Pensions and government allowances 
  • Interest earned (banks etc)
  • Dividends 
  • Rental property income
  • Business income
  • Other income earned (capital gains etc)

Tax Deductible Expenses For Chefs and Kitchen Hands     

Chef Specific 

  1. Buying any chef uniforms and cooking clothes for your work
  2. The cost of laundry for clothes/uniforms that are worn for your job as a chef 
  3. Protective clothing items that you use for your chef work (masks, hair nets, aprons, gloves, sunscreen if working outside etc) 
  4. Purchase of chef equipment and chef supplies used for your chef work (knives, thermometers, sharpeners, utensils etc) up to $300 
  5. Depreciation expense of equipment and tools over $300
  6. The repair and/or upkeep of chef tools and equipment 
  7. Interest generated from loans relating to work activities
  8. Self-education and courses that will improve your chef work 
  9. License and certification that you will need for your chef work 
  10.  Work union fees/other similar organisations 
  11.  Subscriptions and magazines relating to chef work and cooking 
  12. Travel expenses if work related (conferences, moving between jobs, and going to see clients)
  13. Driving between two places of work in your own vehicle. This is usually best claimed using the cents per km method of claiming a tax deduction.

Buying Your Chef Clothing and Uniforms  

For you to be able to deduct your chef clothing, both to buy and to put in the laundry, it has to have your work logo/name on it. Luckily, chef clothes and other hospitality worker clothes usually have this. 

Protective Chef Clothing

If you need to buy any protective clothing, you can claim that back as a tax deduction. Kitchen hand shoes, or any non-slip shoes for chef workers, face masks, gloves, and hair nets are all tax deductible. 

Joining A Union 

Joining a union is a popular thing for chefs. Can you claim union fees back on tax? The answer is yes.

Licenses and Trainings 

Chefs can claim any license or training they get that will help with their work. You can’t claim the initial buy-in cost, but you can claim any cost it takes to renew it. For more information, see a professional. 


  1. Car expenses and general wear if your car use is work related (estimated Km or a logbook with all expense items)
  2. Travel expenses for your work (flights, taxis and trains etc)
  3. Accommodation needed on work reasons (including meals)
  4. Phone bills for work
  5. Work related computing 
  6. Working from home costs 
  7. Self-education 
  8. Tax return fees dating to the year previous 
  9. Insurances 
  10. Rental expense (if you are renting)
  11. Charity + gift deductions (including gifts to clients tax deductible ATO)
  12. Client entertainment expenses tax deductible ATO
  13. Sun protection (if you have to work outside)

Maximising Your Tax Return With An Online Tax Service

There will be more chef tax benefits and tax deductions that aren’t on this list. Tax deductions are not only industry specific, but also change from individual to individual. So, what can you claim on your tax return?

The best way to claim the most you can is with a tax agent like One Click Life. We have made the process simple with 5 easy steps.

The more you deduct, the less tax you pay and the more money you can spend on yourself. Clearly, you will want to deduct the most you can, and the sure-fire way to do that is with a tax agent or accountant. If you can claim your tax agent/tax return fee back on tax, why wouldn’t you use one to minimise your tax?

One Click Life fast offers online tax returns at your fingertips in an easy-to-use platform run by industry professionals. 

Taxes, health insurance, and wills can be time-consuming and tedious. Our app allows you to be able to do this fuss-free, giving you a simple way to organise, track and manage all of your life admin in one place.

Let One Click Life take care of your tax return, and life’s essential tasks so you can spend more time doing the things you love.

It’s all just ONE CLICK away