The ATO is targeting the meat industry workers

Meat processing workers

The AtO now is targeting the meat processing workers as, the discovered over claims into the tax return of this industry speciafically. As tax agents and accountants we have an obligation towards our clients to make them aware of their obligations by hlping them to make the right and the proper claims of deductions. As the ATO now became aware after reviewing many of the tax returns of this industry tax returns. They discovered a lot of false claims and over claims. So, as a tax agent we have the role of advising the clients of making sure that they only make claims if there’s recipts or a genuine purchase for work purposes. Not a guarantee that claims will be allowed if not work related or for work purposes. The ATO already provided this fact sheet to help the tax payers to make the proper deductions.

This fact sheet guides you on what deductions you can and cannot claim. Read this information carefully when making a claim for a deduction in your tax return.

Self-assessment system

Receiving a refund does not mean that your claims have been checked and accepted by the ATO. We may review your tax return at a later time to verify that your claims are correct. When you sign your tax return, you are taking responsibility for the claims you are making. Even if you pay a tax agent to prepare your tax return, you are still responsible for the claims made in your return.

Claiming deductions

Receiving an allowance does not automatically entitle you to a deduction. To be entitled to a deduction:

  • You must have spent the money yourself weren’t reimbursed it must be directly related to earning your income you must have records to prove it.

Home-to-work travel

You generally cannot claim a deduction for the cost of travelling between your home and your workplace.

There is an exception where you are required to transport bulky tools or bulky equipment to work. However, the exception only applies where:

  • You need to use bulky tools or bulky equipment to do your job
  • Your employer does not supply the tools or equipment
  • Your employer expects you to transport the tools or equipment to work, and
  • There is no secure area to store the tools or equipment at work.

Knives, steels and protective clothing (for example, mesh apron and gloves) are not bulky. If knives, steels and protective clothing are the only items that you are expected to carry for work purposes, you are not entitled to claim a deduction for your home-to-work travel.

Tools and equipment

You are entitled to claim a deduction for tools and equipment you use for work. You must have paid for the items and not have been reimbursed by your employer. Items may include knives and sharpening stones. Generally, you can claim a deduction for the full cost of the item if it cost less than $300. If the item cost you more than $300, you need to spread the deduction over a number of tax years.

Clothing expenses and laundry

If you work in a refrigerated cold-room or a similar work environment, you are entitled to claim the cost of protective clothing that you use for work if it is not provided by your employer. This may include overalls, thermals, gloves and protective boots. You can claim your costs of washing, drying or ironing your protective items of clothing.

You must have written evidence for your laundry expenses if the amount of your claim is greater than $150 and your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300. If you are unable to determine the cost of laundering your protective items of clothing, you can use the Commissioner’s estimate. This will be $1 per load if the clothing is washed by itself or 50 cents per load if the clothing is washed with your private clothing. You cannot claim a deduction for clothing expenses or laundry expenses if your employer provides the clothing or they launder the clothing.

You cannot claim a deduction for private clothing which is not part of a compulsory uniform or protective in nature (for example, T-shirts worn under protective coats).

Overtime meals

You can only claim a deduction for overtime meals if:

  • You spend an amount on a meal in connection with a specific occasion when overtime is worked, and an overtime meal allowance appears on your payment summary or payslip, and the amount has been included as an allowance in your tax return, and you can show us that you spent the amount you have claimed.

Mobile phone and internet

There is generally no requirement for meat processing workers to use their personal mobile phone or the internet. If you use your mobile phone occasionally, for example to communicate with your employer about roster changes and absences, you can claim up to $50 without the need to provide detailed records. If you claim more than $50 you need to keep records, such as diary entries or an itemised bill, for a four-week representative period showing your work usage. The ATO may confirm with your employer that you use your phone and/or internet for work purposes.

Other expenses

If you are a member of a union you are entitled to claim a deduction for the amount you spent on union fees.

If your employer requires you to be vaccinated against Q fever and they do not pay for or reimburse you for the vaccination, you are entitled to claim a deduction for the amount you spent on this vaccination.

More information

For general information about deductions


If you wish to discuss your circumstances, phone the ATO on 13 28 61.

Refernce: ATO