A list of tax deductions and ideas for people who work in retail jobs, to help get a larger tax refund.
Do you work in retail? Whether you are working in a clothes shop, retail department store, Kmart, Target, JB Hi Fi or more – there are a tonne of things you can claim back on tax.
Below you will find some tax tips for people who work in retail; remember, always use an accountant to maximise your tax return. They can also help ensure you legally have a right to claim tax deductions to avoid getting in any trouble.
Claiming mobile phone costs when working in retail
If you are required to make or take phone calls on your personal mobile phone in order to help with your retail job, the costs of said phone calls can be tax deductible. In order to substantiate your claim, be sure to keep a log for a month or two to ascertain the % of work calls you make/take versus that of personal calls.
Based on this usage percentage, you could then talk to your accountant about claiming your mobile phone bills up to the % you dedicate to work.
Claiming tablets, laptops and PC costs when working in retail
If you find yourself needing to do emails, manage staff rosters, manage stock orders or generally use your computer to perform your retail job from home – you can claim the costs of using the devices as a tax deduction.
Your accountant can help you decide the best way to claim these items; you may be able to depreciate the purchase price of the laptop over a number of years to reduce your tax. You could also weigh up whether your current laptop is sufficient for your needs, and choose to buy a new one (or your first laptop) and claim the costs.
Claiming the cost of home internet as a retail worker
Further to the point above, if you are managing emails and staff rosters from home – none of this would be possible without an internet connection. As such, the cost of your home internet (and associated home phone) could be tax deductible.
Similar to the costs of your mobile, you will need to substantiate your claim by working out the percentage of usage dedicated to work versus personal use. You can the claim the internet costs up to that percentage.
Claiming your car expenses when working in retail
You can also claim the running costs of your car (things like petrol), if you use your car to carry at duties related to your job in retail.
You cannot claim travel to and from your home to your usual place of work, but you can claim the costs of commuting from store to store when your job requires you to oversee or work out of numerous stores.
For example, if you work 99% of the time from one store location – yet your boss asks you to fill in or help out at a new location that has just opened up; you can claim the costs of getting there back.
Claiming retail union fees and retail worker membership fees
If you are a member of a Union that is specifically setup for retail workers (such as SDA National, Australian Workers Union or RAFFWU) – the costs of union fees are fully tax deductible.
These fees are there to protect you as a retail worker, by giving you access to the collective benefit of a union – thus it’s something you pay for, in order to help you with your retail job. As such, it’s fully claimable.
Claim trade publications, books, catalogues or magazines related to your job in retail
Similarly, any fees you pay to retail related publications or industry updates are able to be fully deducted from your taxable income.
- Books you buy related to helping you in your job; claimable.
- Magazine you must read to help you perform your retail job; claimable.
- Catalogues or publications you subscribe to for your job in retail; claimable.
Claiming stationery costs when working in retail
The costs of paper, pens, glue, rulers, notebooks, logbooks, pencils, sharpeners, blue-tak and more – all of these stationery items are tax deductible as long as they relate to your performing your duties in your retail job.
Like any item you intend to claim back on tax, you must keep bulletproof receipts to showcase the costs and what you used them for. I often write the reason I purchased the piece of stationery on the back of the receipt to remind myself.
Claiming uniform expenses when your retail job requires you to wear a uniform
If you are mandated to wear a retail uniform that has a logo on it – the cost of purchase along with the cost of washing and maintaining it are tax deductible. This means you can talk to your accountant about how to quantify the cost of washing the uniform at home.
If your job requires you wear safety gear, items such as gloves, aprons, sunglasses, boots and more could be tax deductible.
Can I claim meal costs when working in retail?
If your job requests that you work overtime or do overnight trips to visit other retail stores, you can claim the costs of meals. Similarly if you are travelling for work, the cost of accommodation can be deducted from your taxable income as a claim.