Every Australian worker wants to get as much money back as they can on their tax return. A large range of deductions are available to be claimed for people who are employed in different job titles. 

When trying to determine if an item is claimable, the basic rule is that the purchase you have made makes it possible for you to earn income or makes it possible for you to operate your business.

Here is a list of some of the most outrageous and strangest tax deductions that people have claimed.


For the large majority of people buying a dog as a pet is definitely not a tax deductable item. However, if you find yourself in a unique situation where your business needs a guard dog to keep your premises secure than this dog is actually tax deductible.

A guard dog would be viewed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a capital asset of the business. This means that you can claim an immediate deduction for the entire cost of the guard dog by using the instant asset write-off for small businesses. You can also claim vet bills for your guard dog.

Claiming the dog must be big and fit for purpose and therefore a small dog such as; a poodle is not going to be tax deductable as a guard dog. This same logic also applies whenever a dog is used on a farm for example; a sheep dog or also on a farm when a dog is used by truckdrivers to help transport livestock.

A Gym Membership

The average person won’t be able to claim their gym membership as a tax deduction. However, a professional sportsperson would be able to. An individual who is employed by the defence force and has to undertake duties that are designed to keep them fit for example; members of the special forces would also be able to claim their gym membership as a tax deduction.

Performance Tools

Performers such as; musicians, actors, dancers, circus performers and magicians are all able to claim deductions that are related to their income producing activity. This means classes associated with acting such as; miming lessons could be claimed as a tax deduction. Musical instrument classes, dance classes and whole lot more could be available for people working in these industries. Furthermore, if you are a professional sword swallower you can also claim the cost of ceremonial swords.

Xbox and Foxtel

An individual cannot claim Xbox or Foxtel for personal use however, the ATO has admitted that gaming systems like Xbox make it easier for people to refocus when they are in the workplace.

This means that an Xbox or a Foxtel subscription can be claimed if it is used in the workplace. However, it cannot be claimed by an individual employee, however it is possible for it to be claimed by a business owner who employees other people. 

Sex Toys

The ATO has said that “various quirky deductions may be available to particular occupations and trades”. This means that if you are a sex worker you will be able to claim condoms, tissues, lubricants, body lotions and sex toys. This is because your job requires these items for your job to be undertaken.

A woman in America who worked in the sex industry tried to claim her breast enlargement surgery as a tax deduction. This was unsuccessful and would also probably not be accepted by the ATO in Australia

Attending Social Functions

For most cases, the ATO won’t allow you to claim going out to a social function as a tax deduction. However, there is an exception if you are attending a function that is genuinely part of your work. An example of this would be whenever a journalist attends a function that they are required to report on via the media outlet they work for.


Claiming a handbag for work is a tricky situation and requires serious care. Your handbag must be appropriate for work purposes, this means it must be used to carry your laptop computer or work papers.

This means that you will be unable to claim your designer Gucci bag as you are advised to only claim a modest bag that is being used for genuine work-related purposes.

A briefcase used for work, a backpack or a satchel can also be claimed if they are used for work related purposes.