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Tax Deductions For Waiters & Hospitality

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

“And for you Mr Tax Return, what will you be having this evening, sir?”

“Oh, the tax deduction verde, oh yes very good sir, a personal favourite of mine.”

Jokes aside, it is very important to be claiming all the hospitality tax deductions that you can in your tax return. Here are some tax deductible expenses for hospitality workers and waitstaff. Don’t leave anything out of your online tax return. If you save every little bit, and deduct everything you’re entitled to, the tax 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 reimbursed from the till)
  • 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 tax deductions for hospitality workers.

Remember, a record isn’t always a receipt. There are a number of ways to substantiate your expenditure. Check out our blog on tax deductions that don’t require a receipt.  

What Is Your Taxable Income

Your taxable hospitality income is money (earnings) 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 Hospitality Workers     

Hospitality Specific 

The following list of tax deductions are specifically for the hospitality industry. This list contains common tax deductions for all hospitality industry works and specific ones for different roles. It doesn’t matter what level you are, this tax deductions are industry based.  

  1. Buying any uniforms and clothing for your hospitality work
  2. The cost of laundry for clothes/uniforms that are worn for your job as a hospitality worker 
  3. Protective clothing items that you use for your hospitality work (masks, hair nets, aprons, gloves, sunscreen if working outside etc) 
  4. Purchase of equipment and tools used for your hospitality work (pens, notepads, knives if needed etc) up to $300 
  5. Depreciation expense of equipment and tools over $300
  6. The repair and/or upkeep of hospitality tools and equipment 
  7. Interest generated from loans relating to work activities
  8. Self-education and courses that will improve your hospitality work (barista license, bartending course, waitress training, waitressing course,  RSA etc)
  9. License and certification (Approved manager certification, barista license, RSA)
  10.  Work union fees/other similar organisations  
  11.  Subscriptions and magazines relating to your hospitality work
  12. Travel expenses if work related (conferences, moving between jobs, and going to see clients) 

Buying Your Hospitality Clothing 

For you to be able to deduct your hospitality clothing, both to buy and to put in the laundry, it has to have your work logo/name on it. Luckily, waitress clothes, barista aprons and bartender uniforms usually have this.

Protective Clothing For Hospitality Staff 

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

Joining A Union 

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

Licenses and Trainings 

Restaurant manager tax deductions and their staff can claim any license or training they get that will help with their work. They can’t claim the initial buy-in cost, but they can claim any cost it takes to renew it. For more information, see a professional. 

General Tax Deductions

The below list of tax deductions are quite general in nature, but we see them pop up across a lot of industries. If you’re unsure about these, remember, it’s free to talk to one of our tax professionals.  

  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 Agent

There will be more hospitality staff 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.

How to tax bartender
How to tax bartender

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 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.