Phone, Internet & Electronic Device Expense Claims

If you are required to use your own internet, phone, tablet, laptop, or any other electronic device for work, then you may be entitled to make aclaim for these expenses. You will need to apportion all claims between work and private use.

If you deduction amounts to more than $50, then you are required to have evidence to substantiate your claim. These records may include:

  • Diary records (including electronics)
  • Bills
  • Evidence that your employer requires you to use your device for work purposes (e.g. letter)

You cannot claim a deduction under the following circumstances:

  • Using your device to seek employment
  • A casual / shift worker either:
    – Calling into work to see if there are any shifts available
    – Answering your phone when your employer calls you to ask you to work
    – Using your device to check your roster

Apportioning work use of phone

Incidental use

If you rarely use your phone for work and your claim will be under $50, you can use the following:

  • $0.25 for work calls made from a landline
  • $0.75 for work calls made from your mobile
  • $0.10 for text messages sent from your mobile

Usage itemised on bills

To calculate the percentage use of your phone for work purposes, you can use your itemised bill to reach a reasonable basis by using the:

Business man on a phone call.
  •  Number of work calls / by total number of calls
  • Amount of time spent on work calls / by total time of calls
  • Amount of data downloaded for work purposes / total data downloaded

Usage not itemised on bills

If you do  not receive an itemised bill for your phone, you can record the total amount of calls you made over a 4-week representative period (marking those that are work related) and then calculate your work use percentage by using the following method:

  • Number of work calls / by total number of calls

Bundled phone and internet plans

Should you have a bundled phone and internet service, and you wish to claim a deduction against one or more of these services, then you must apportion each cost separately. That is, you must calculate your work use percentage using a 4-week representation period, for each service, using the reasonable basis method of:


  • Internet
    – Amount of data downloaded for work purposes total data downloaded
Business man using phone while on the internet.
  • Phone
    – Number of work calls made / total number of calls made
    – Amount of time spent on work calls / by total time of calls
    – Additional costs incurred due to work-related use e.g. exceeding your monthly cap

Purchasing a smartphone, tablet, or another electronic device

When you purchase a device that you require for work, you may be able to claim the cost of that device. You will need to determine the percentage that you use the device for work and keep your receipts from when you made your purchase.