A pipe fitter has been denied deductions by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for work-related expenses: Re Hamilton and FCT [2017] AATA 734. 

The expenses fell into three categories:

  • tool expenses ($945) – although his employer provided tools, the taxpayer said he also used his own tools;
  • mobile phone expenses ($519) – although mobile phones were banned from the work site, the taxpayer said he used his phone to communicate with work groups and supervisors and arrange tools, cranes and transport (the ATO allowed a $50 deduction for "minor use"); and
  • overtime meal expenses ($3,110) – the taxpayer was paid a meal allowance of $10.20 per day, but he claimed an average of $27 per day (the ATO allowed a deduction of $10.20 per day).

The AAT disallowed the claims because the taxpayer was unable to produce adequate documentary evidence:

  • tool expenses – the only documentary evidence produced were credit card statements showing charges incurred at a hardware shop, but there was no evidence to show what the charges were for (and the taxpayer failed to produce any receipts);
  • mobile phone expenses – the only documentary evidence produced were Telstra accounts, but they did not show where calls were made from, the time they were made or their duration; and
  • overtime meal expenses – the taxpayer did not produce any receipts and could not rely on the substantiation exception in s 900-60 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to claim the difference between the amount of the allowance and the amount claimed.