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Allowances and other employment income

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Assessable income is basically net gross income. The most common item of assessable income is salary and wages income. But there are other income items which are known as allowances and other employment income. These are actually the additional benefit apart from salary and wages.

Allowances: Allowances are usually amounts paid to an employee in specific circumstances, for doing particular work or carrying out certain responsibilities.

Employment allowances include:

  • Car and travel allowances, and reimbursements of car expenses;
  • Tool, clothing and laundry allowances;
  • Dirt, height, site, first aid and risk allowances;
  • Meal and entertainment allowances.

There are certain rules and rates to calculate each items of allowances.  If anyone received a travel or overtime meal allowance paid under an industrial agreement, then he/she cannot show it on their tax return if:

  • He/she spent the whole amount on deductible expenses;
  • It was not shown on his/her payment summary, and;
  • It does not exceed the commissioner’s reasonable allowance amount.

One cannot claim deductions for the expenses that he/she paid for with that allowance.

Other Employment Income: These are income which are not shown in salary and wages and allowances. Such as

  • Tips, gratuities and payments for services;
  • Consultation fees and payments for voluntary services;
  • Jury attendance fees etc.

Tips & Gratuities: A gift of money, over and above payment due for service. There are no certain rules or rates for tips and gratuities in Australia. If differs from industry to industry.



Consultation fees and payments for voluntary services: This is the earning from the employer for voluntary services or consultancy fees. If anyone gets consultation fees and payments for voluntary services apart from salary and wages, he/she needs to pay tax for that income.

Jury attendance fees: If anyone is selected as a juror, he/she will be paid an allowance which is called jury attendance fee. This is intended to reduce any financial hardship he/she may incur by serving as a juror. The allowance is not intended to be equal to his/her normal wage or salary payment. It depends on the length of the trial and whether he/she is currently employed or not employed. Depending on these factors the rates differ.

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