Allowance Expense Claims

Most modern awards prescribe monetary allowances to compensate for several different conditions and qualifications. These allowances are usually amounts paid to an employee in specified circumstances, for doing particular work or carrying certain responsibilities.

Where the allowance is paid under an award, order, determination, or industrial agreement.  There is a reasonable amount for these allowances, as determined by the ATO.

Businesses and employees need to know the correct amounts of allowances and the differences between (as well as different types of) allowances and reimbursements.

Taxpayers also needed to know that allowances received increase their taxable income. So understanding what amounts the ATO will recognise as tax deductible against taxable income will empower the taxpayer in their tax planning.

Overtime Meal Allowance Amount

Per meal – $30.60

Daily Travel Allowance Amounts

Travel Allowance Amounts are determined by salary range and location.  The reasonable amounts for daily travel allowances expenses for 2018/2019 for major Australian destinations for employees earning $0- $122,040 are as follows:

Place Accommodation Food & Drink Incidentals Total
Adelaide $157 $111.35 $19.70 $288.05
Brisbane $175 $111.35 $19.70 $306.05
Canberra $168 $111.35 $19.70 $299.05
Perth $180 $111.35 $19.70 $311.05
Melbourne $173 $111.35 $19.70 $304.05
Hobart $147 $111.35 $19.70 $278.05
Darwin $220 $111.35 $19.70 $351.05
Sydney $188 $111.35 $19.70 $319.05

(Food & Drink= Breakfast $27.55, Lunch $31.00 and Dinner $52.80)


Where a taxpayer receives an allowance, its important they do three things:

  1. Ensure the allowance meets the minimum award or contract/agreement amounts (as shown in the tables above);
  2. Retain all receipts of meal, accommodation and incidental related expenses; and,
  3. Maintain a record of how these expenses relate to fulfilling employment obligations.

For information on Country Centres, international travel or tax planning using allowance contact Holzworth Partners on 1300 009 888 or


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