Personal Tax Specialists

tax deductions for chefs and hospitality workers

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If you work in the hospitality industry, or as a chef, you are eligible to claim for certain deductions on your tax. Some of the hospitality tax deductions you may be able to claim on your personal tax return are list below.

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Meals and Travel

  • The cost of buying meals when you work overtime, provided you have been paid an allowance by your employer (you can claim for your meals without having to keep any receipts, as long as you can show how you have calculated the amount you spent).
  • The cost of parking, tolls, taxis, and public transport if you are required to travel to attend seminars, meetings, and training courses. As a hospitality worker you can also claim the cost of all meals and your accommodation on your tax return if you need to stay away overnight.
  • The cost of using your own car for work, including travel to collect materials and supplies, travel between two or more places of work, to attend meetings and to attend training courses (to claim for car costs, it is usually best to keep a diary record of the number of kilometres you travel during the year for work purposes and then we can calculate the amount of your tax deduction at the end of the year).

Work Clothing

  • Tax claims for hospitality workers also include the cost of buying compulsory uniforms (shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, jumpers – your uniform should have the business or restaurant’s logo on it to ensure it is tax deductible).
  • The cost of buying occupation specific clothing (including checked chef’s pants, black or white chef’s jackets, and chef’s hats).
  • The cost of laundry or dry cleaning of your uniforms, or occupation specific clothing.
  • The cost of buying other protective equipment, including gloves, steel-capped boots, hair nets, and aprons.


  • The cost of work-related short training courses, for example first aid, OH&S, specialty cooking courses, management, staff supervision, and RSA which are not run by a University or TAFE (you can also claim for the cost of travelling to and from the course, and any accommodation and meal expenses if you are required to stay away overnight).
  • The cost of self-education courses run by a University (not including HECS/HELP) or TAFE, for example Cert IV in Commercial Cookery or Hospitality. If you are studying, you can also claim for the cost of books, stationery, equipment, and travel required for your course as a hospitality tax deduction.

Work Tools & Equipment

  • The cost of buying and repairing the equipment you use at work, including knives, steels, tools, electronic organisers, laptop computers, and mobile phones.
  • The cost of any materials or supplies that you buy for use at work, for example stationery, diary, a work bag, or a briefcase.
  • The cost of insuring your work equipment.

Other Work Expenses

  • The cost of annual association membership fees or union fees.
  • The cost of work-related magazines and journals.
  • The cost of work-related books (these could include recipes, management, customer service, or hospitality books).
  • The cost of work-related mobile or home telephone calls and rental (you should keep a diary record of the number of phone calls you make for work for one month and then we can use that to estimate your usage for the whole year in your hospitality tax deductions).
  • The cost of work-related internet connection fees (you can only claim the proportion of your monthly fees that relate to work use, which could include emailing, research relating to your job, for example gathering recipe ideas and investigating different types of produce and availability, or comparing prices and menus at other restaurants).
  • The cost of reimbursing your employer for any cash or bar shortages.
  • The cost of maintaining a home office if you are required to complete work at home (you should keep a diary to record how many hours per week you spend working from your home office).

General Expenses

There are some deductions that all employees can claim on their personal tax returns:

  • The amount of any donations to registered charities (as long as you haven’t received anything in return for your donation, such as raffle tickets or novelty items).
  • The cost of bank fees charged on any investment accounts.
  • The cost of income protection or sickness and accident insurance premiums (this type of insurance covers you if you hurt yourself (including when you are not at work) or become sick and you are unable to work. It will pay you your normal wage until you are fit to return to work. If you don’t have this insurance, you should see a financial adviser or ask us and we will refer you to someone who can organise it for you. It is definitely worthwhile).
  • Your tax agent fees (you are also eligible to claim tax deductions on the amount you pay to your accountant to prepare your tax return each year).
  • The cost of travelling to see your tax agent (you can claim the cost of travelling to see your accountant to have your tax return prepared. You should keep a record of the number of kilometres you travel and any other incidental costs such as parking, meals, accommodation, etc.)

We suggest that you keep receipts for all purchases that are related to your work in the hospitality industry, even if they are not listed above. That way, when we prepare your tax return, we can decide whether you are allowed to claim a tax deduction for them or not.

If you would like any more information about the deductions hospitality workers can claim or if you would like the Personal Tax Specialists team to prepare your tax return for you to ensure you maximise your claims this year, contact us at

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