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  • Common expenses T–W

    Details on common retail industry employee expenses for:

    Technical or professional publications

    You can claim a deduction for the cost of journals, periodicals and magazines that have content sufficiently connected to your employment in the retail industry. For example, an assistant in a computer shop may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of the computer magazine – APC.

    Travel expenses

    You can claim a deduction for the costs you incur on accommodation, meals and incidentals when you travel for work and sleep away from your home overnight in the course of performing your employment duties.

    You can't claim a deduction for accommodation where you have not incurred any accommodation expenses, because you:

    • sleep in accommodation provided by your employer
    • are reimbursed for any costs by your employer.

    Receiving an allowance from your employer doesn't automatically entitle you to a deduction. In all cases, you need to be able to show:

    • you were away overnight
    • you spent the money
    • the allowance was included in your assessable income
    • the travel was directly related to earning your employment income
    • how you calculated your claim.

    Each year, we set a reasonable amount for travel expenses. Generally, you're required to get and keep written evidence, such as receipts, when you claim a deduction for travel expenses. However, if you spent and are claiming:

    • a deduction up to the reasonable amount, you don't have to get and keep receipts
    • more than the reasonable amount, you must get and keep receipts for all your expenses.

    See also:

    Union and professional association fees

    You can claim a deduction for union fees you pay. If the amount you paid is shown on your payment summary or income statement, you can use it to prove your claim.

    See also:

    Working from home

    You can claim a deduction for the additional running expenses of an office or a study at home that you use to earn your income working in the retail industry.

    Running expenses include:

    • decline in value of home office equipment
    • the cost of repairs to your home office furniture and fittings
    • electricity for heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning expenses.

    As a retail industry worker, it's more common that you maintain an office, or study at home, as a matter of convenience. It would be rare for a retail industry worker to be able to claim occupancy expenses, such as rent, rates, mortgage interest and house insurance premiums.

    In limited circumstances, you may be able to claim a deduction if your home office is considered to be a 'place of business'. If the only income you receive is paid to you as an employee, you aren't considered to be carrying on a business.

    Diary records noting the time the home office was used for work are acceptable evidence of a connection between the use of a home office and your work. You'll need to keep diary records during a representative four-week period.

    The Home office expenses calculator helps calculate the amount you can claim as a deduction for home office expenses.

    See also:

    For more retail industry workers expenses, see:

    Find out about retail industry workers':
      Last modified: 20 Dec 2019QC 51271