Some employees may wonder whether a work-related expense (or ‘WRE’) becomes deductible merely because their employer specifically requires the employee to incur the expense.
Importantly, the ATO’s recent draft ruling on the deductibility of work-related expenses reiterates that an employer’s requirements do not determine the question of deductibility.
Specifically, a number of examples contained in the draft ruling confirm that a WRE expense may be deductible without an employer requiring the expenditure. For example, a taxpayer incurring expenditure in relation to a course directly connected to their current employment (without their employer’s specific support) may still be in a position to claim self-education deductions.
Alternatively, expenses may be non-deductible despite an employer’s specific directions, such as a restaurant requiring its waiters to dress in ‘black and whites’, or support such as where an employer encourages a dental practice receptionist to undertake a ‘Certificate in Dental Assisting’ so as to open up a new career opportunity.