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  • Common expenses P–S

    Details on common retail industry employee expenses for:

    Phone and internet expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the phone and internet costs associated with the work-related use of your own phone or electronic devices.

    You need to keep records to show your work use if you claim more than $50 on phone and internet expenses.

    You can’t claim a deduction if your employer provides you with a phone for work and pays for the usage, or if your employer reimburses you for the costs.

    Example: calculating phone expenses

    George sometimes uses his mobile phone for work purposes (mostly outgoing calls to check shift changes). He's on a set plan of $49 each month and rarely exceeds the plan cap.

    He receives an itemised account from his provider monthly, which includes details of the individual calls he has made. George prints his accounts and highlights his work-related calls. He also notes on the account who he has called.

    At the end of the income year, George works out that 10% of his call costs are work-related. George calculates his calls for work purposes as follows:

    Total work calls ÷ Total number of calls = Work use percentage for calls:

    • 30 ÷ 300 = 10%

    George can claim 10% of the total bill of $49 for each month for work purposes:

    • $49 × 0.10 = $4.90

    George worked for 46 weeks of the year, so he calculates his work-related mobile phone expense deduction as follows:

    • 10.6 months × $49 × 0.10 = $52
    End of example

    See also:

    Self-education and study expenses

    You can claim a deduction for self-education expenses if it's directly related to your current employment in the retail industry and it:

    • maintains or improves the skills and knowledge you need for your current duties
    • results in or is likely to result in an increase in your income from your current employment.

    You can't claim a deduction if the education is only related in a general way or designed to:

    • enable you to get employment
    • obtain new employment – for example, if you are a retail assistant training to become a store manager
    • open up a new income-earning activity – for example, undertaking a full-time fashion photography course while working as a casual sales assistant on the weekends.

    Self-education expenses include fees, transport costs, books and equipment. You usually have to reduce your self-education expenses by $250 – that is, the first $250 of expenses for self-education aren't deductible.

    Example: education not related to current employment

    Jane is a shop assistant who would like to go into business for herself. She is doing a part-time course in Business Administration. As the course isn't related to her current employment, she can't claim a deduction.

    End of example

    Self-education and study and training support loans

    You can't claim the repayment of loans you receive to help pay for your self-education or study expenses. This includes:

    • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans
    • VET Student Loans (VETSL)
    • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS)
    • Student Start-up Loan
    • Trade Support Loan Program.

    You may be able to claim a deduction for course or tuition fees where the self-education expenses are directly related to your current employment as a retail industry worker.

    See also:

    Seminars, conferences and training courses

    You can claim for the cost of seminars, conferences and training courses that relate to your work in the retail industry.

    For more retail industry workers expenses, see:

      Last modified: 20 Dec 2019QC 51271