A rebate is a provision under income tax that reduces the income tax liability of an individual. In simple words, it’s a refund that you can claim back if you are eligible. Here is everything you should know about dental tax rebates in Australia. 

When Can Dental Costs be Claimed?

Dental costs are referred to as grooming expenses, and the Australian Taxation Office categorises  them under private expenses. 

Private expense is understood as anything that is not related to work (profession/job). So, things that are understood as unnecessary or unrelated for the income, is termed as a private expense. Thus, if you wish to claim dental expenses, then it is possible only if:

It is significant for your job or directly connected to the income that you are getting for your services provided. 

Technically, all of us wish to look presentable and well-groomed. Most of our job roles require us to look bright  and well-presented. This is why there may be certain professions where the employers consider paying their employees an additional allowance for grooming. 

However, the ATO considers grooming expenses to be private expenses and not tax-deductible because there are very few jobs or job roles that require grooming services for employees. 

Job-Related Tax Deductions for Oral Services

Here is what the ATO considers for someone undergone oral or dental services to qualifying as being tax-deductible:

  • A profession that deems grooming expenses compulsory for your role, which is a performing artist, actress/actor or a model
  • If there is a direct connection between the occupation that gets you income and the cost of oral work undertaken
  • The amount was paid entirely by you, and the employer did not compensate
  • An invoice or a receipt for the dental expenses- this document should be kept as a record for up to 3 years. It will work as proof of the expenditure after you have filed for a tax return.

The point is that actors/models/artists have to uphold how  they look and or  even change it if their role requires it. So, the amount of money they make  directly connects to the way their teeth look. It also determines the number of work they may get.

For instance, several actors have changed the look of their teeth just for a role in the movie.

Johnny Depp always wears gold crowns in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Brad Pit had his fake covering removed so his chipped tooth could be seen for the movie Fight Club. Several more actors/actresses have undergone dental works to  play a specific role in a film. 

Important – You cannot try and claim medical expenses by writing them under ‘other deductions.’ Suppose you are trying to claim the cost of dental work before you had a job, claiming that a beautiful smile was significant in getting a job. In that case, the ATO will reject your claim because ‘other deductions’ must also be related to earning income directly.


So, dental costs are not tax-deductible except for those in an occupation where their appearance is entirely reliant on their income source. There are very few jobs that fall under this category, as discussed above. The ATO considers all grooming expenses as private expenses for those who are in other jobs.

Flight attendants or news presenters also require to look presentable by their employers, but employers tend to pay them a special allowance for their grooming in such occupations.

Refrain from making any false claims; you may end up paying a fine. 

Healthy Smiles for Dental Treatments

We will gladly explain about dental tax rebate to you in person if you wish to understand more about it. Besides this, our knowledgeable staff at Healthy Smiles will also help you schedule an appointment with our amazing dentists for all types of oral issues that you are facing. 

You can book a dental appointment online with us or reach out to us on the below contact details:

Healthy Smiles Dental Group

Address: 152 Canterbury Road, Blackburn South, VIC 3130

Phone Number: 03 9877 2035

WhatsApp Number: 0420676453

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