Tax deductions for chefs and cooks are numerous – but do you know what you can claim on your tax return?
Look no further, we’ve got you covered.
Most of us have a love affair with food, so the fabulous people who create the dishes in our favourite cafes and restaurants inevitably become our absolute heroes. From flamboyant gastronomes to humble home style cooks, these food artistes literally take us back in time, surprise us, enlighten us, inspire us and above all, make us truly happy.
So what can we do for all of you chefs and cooks out there who provide the rest of us with such joy? Well perhaps we can help you buy that divine Alba white truffle or much longed for Wusthof or Shun knife set. How? By making sure your tax refund is as fat as it can be!
Exploring tax deductions for chefs and cooks
Every year, many of our chefs and cooks pay far too much tax. Many of the work-related purchases and costs that add up through the year can be claimed on your tax return – but so many items get skipped or forgotten.
Let’s start with the most common tax deductions for you…
You can’t cook anything without good cooking equipment, and good equipment in the kitchen never comes cheap. Some chefs buy their own gear and if that’s you, make sure you don’t forget to claim any purchase, on your return:
- Knives and sharpeners
- General hand held cooking utensils (eg. Spatulas, wooden spoons etc.)
- Graters, slicers and mandolins
- Electrical appliances (eg. Sous-vide cookers, food processors etc.)
- Saucepans and steamers
- Cooking dishes
- Baking trays and tins
- Piping equipment
- Crockery and glassware
- Chopping boards
You can only claim a tax deduction for cooking equipment if the equipment was not supplied or reimbursed by your employer and you have proof of purchase. The item must also be an essential piece of equipment for your actual work, not just an item you would ‘like’.
- Compulsory uniforms with café/restaurant logo
- Checked chef’s pants
- Black or white chef’s jackets
- Chef’s hats
- Non slip/steel cap shoes,
- Hair nets
Even a 3 star Michelin chef is unlikely to simply sit down and say, I’m perfect, there is nothing more for me to learn how to cook! That day would be the beginning of the end for them.
If you have ambition in the kitchen, you need to keep your career and your skills moving forward. This can be expensive but the good news is, lots of self-education expenses for work-related courses are tax deductible.
Please note: training courses need to be directly related to your current role. For instance, if you’re a dessert chef you could claim the expenses for a course in cake decorating but not for a course in preparing seafood.
The expenses you may be able to claim include:
- course/tuition fees
- travel expenses
- equipment costs
- computer and phone costs
- stationery and textbooks
- academic journals
- student services and amenities fees
- and more…
Download a Tax Checklist for Chefs and Cooks
To help jog your memory and collect all the right documents and details for tax time, we’ve created a helpful tax checklist that’s personalised for chefs and cooks.
To find out more about education expenses read our blog on self-education tax deductions:
General tax deductions
You may also be able to claim other tax deductions, such as license fees, car expenses, travel costs, work bags and tax agent fees. Read more about general tax deductions in our blog:
Good record keeping in itself can really help you stay on top of your receipts and expense records throughout the year. Our blog on record keeping habits outlines a few easy ways to never miss a tax deduction again:
Not sure about something?
If you’ve got any other questions about tax deductions for chefs and cooks or you’re not sure if you can or can’t claim an expense, just get in touch, any time at [email protected]. Our accountants are always happy to help.
Alternatively, if you find you need help mid way through your tax return, no problem, simply send us a secure message or leave your question in the ‘Any other questions’ area at the bottom of your return. Your accountant will read your message and get in touch with the answer, or amend your return before your tax return in lodged.
Etax really do make tax easy! :)