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  • Common expenses A–F

    Details on common retail industry employee expenses for:

    Car expenses

    You can't claim a deduction for the normal trips between your home and work, even if you live a long way from your usual workplace or have to work outside normal business hours. These are private expenses.

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of using a car you own, lease or hire (under a hire-purchase arrangement) when you drive:

    • between separate jobs on the same day – for example, travelling from your retail job to your second job as a waiter
    • to and from an alternate workplace for the same employer on the same day – for example, driving between separate retail stores for the same employer.

    To claim a deduction you must keep records of your car use You can choose between the cents per kilometre method or the logbook method. If you use the logbook method, you need to keep a valid logbook to help you determine the percentage of work-related use along with records of your car expenses. If you use the cents per kilometre method, you need to provide a calculation of your work-related kilometres. You must be able to show that the kilometres travelled were work-related.

    The Work-related car expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for car expenses.

    If you own a motorcycle, or a vehicle with a carrying capacity of one tonne or more, or nine passengers or more you can deduct the actual expenses related to your work-travel.

    See also:

    Child care

    You can't claim a deduction for child care when you're working. It's a private expense.

    Clothing expenses (including footwear)

    You can claim a deduction for the cost you incur when you buy, hire, repair or replace clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it's:

    • protective
    • occupation specific (and not a conventional, everyday piece of clothing)
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform, if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

    Clothing in a specific colour or brand isn't enough to classify clothing as a uniform. For example, a shirt with the corporate logo on it that your employer strictly requires you to wear when you work is a compulsory uniform, so you can claim a deduction for buying and repairing it.

    You can't claim a deduction for the cost of buying plain clothing, such as black trousers, plain shirts or black shoes worn at work, even if:

    • you only wear it to work
    • your employer tells you to wear it.

    You can't claim a deduction if your employer buys, repairs or replaces your clothing.

    Example: conventional clothing

    Matt works as a sales assistant in a clothing store. His employer requires him to wear clothes available in the store or similar. Matt earns his income mostly from the activity of selling clothes.

    Although he must wear clothing in accordance with his employer's requirements, this isn't sufficient to make the clothing deductible. Matt can't claim a deduction as the clothes are of a conventional nature and not part of a compulsory uniform.

    End of example


    Example: conventional clothes worn with a uniform

    Rick works at a supermarket. He is required to buy and wear a shirt with the supermarket's logo embroidered on it. The employee guidelines include a requirement to wear black pants and closed black shoes, the guidelines don't specify any other qualities of those items such as non-slip.

    Rick can claim a deduction for the cost of the shirts as they are a compulsory uniform, but he can't claim the cost of his pants or shoes. Even though his employer requires him to wear a specific colour, they aren't distinctive enough to make them part of his uniform and are still conventional clothes.

    End of example

    See also:

    Driver's licence

    You can't claim a deduction for obtaining or renewing your driver's licence, even if you must have it as a condition of employment. This is a private expense.

    For more retail industry workers expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Dec 2019QC 51271