If you work in the retail industry, then this article will explain everything you need to know to help you complete your 2019 tax refund form. It will outline the definitions of the things you can and cannot claim for and outline the most typical items that retail workers will claim from the ATO when they complete a tax return.
The Definition of a Work-Related Expense from the ATO
The ATO guidance for work-related expenses are outlined below:
- It must be an expense that is directly related to earning your income.
- You must have a record or proof of the expense.
- You must have paid for it yourself without any reimbursement.
In the next section of this post, we outline the typical work-related expenses that workers in the retail industry can claim for.
Meal Expenses for Retail Workers
If you travel overnight with your job or you work overtime, then you can claim a deduction for these meals. For any food or meals that are paid for as part of your normal working shift, you cannot make a claim for these as they are considered to be a private expense. Even if your company awards you a meal allowance to cover the costs, they cannot be included.
Self-Education Expenses for Retail Workers
If you study or take a course of any type that is connected to your current position, you can claim a deduction under the self-education expenses category. You cannot claim a deduction for any course you take to help you get a promotion or a new job.
Clothing and Grooming Expenses
If you need to buy a uniform item that is unique to your role, such as branded company clothing, then you can claim this as a deduction. If your employer imposes specific requirements for the type of shoes you can wear, for instance, with a heel height limitation, then you can also claim these shoes as a deductible as well.
For any plain clothing that is worn at work, you cannot include this as part of your tax refund request. Personal grooming products are also not allowed, even if your employer requests you use them; this is because they are still classed as a personal expense.
Other Work-Related Expenses
As a retail worker, there is a range of other work-related expenses that could arise over the year, which can be included as part of your tax refund claims.
- Professional association fees
- Seminars and/or conferences
- Technical or Professional publications
- Union fees
- The work-related portion of phone/internet expenses, if you use your personal phone
As a retail worker, you might be subjected to working shifts, including weekend and evening work. As such, keeping track of your expenses can often prove a challenge. The ATO app is a useful and free tool that is designed to help you manage your expenses and keep track of them throughout the year.
If you want to add this to your phone, then use this link to the ATO site to get access to this.