It is not just another accessory, that new handbag may be a tax deduction

  • Wed 14th Dec 2016

Some recent comments from the Australian Tax Office (“ATO”) have been music to the ears of equality campaigners but also to the the retailers who sell the goods produced by our great fashion houses. What am I talking about? Style tips from the ATO? Not quite.

The tax laws say that a person can claim a deduction for any asset used for work purposes. This has always been understood to mean that men can claim a deduction for the reasonable cost of a briefcase which they use to carry laptops, notes from meetings and whatever else they need. Now, my female colleagues carry just as much stuff as me…often more as they are generally better prepared for the meetings….but they don’t like briefcases.

This is a point that some of the more progressive members of the tax office are acknowledging. The consensus opinion is that the use of the bag rather than its name is what is important. So, if a handbag is most appropriate for carrying your communication devices, notes and other important items when you travel to your place of work then the cost should be deductible.

Of course, before you race out and spend several years’ salary on an Hermes Birken  remember that the ATO, if reviewing your deduction, will consider the cost of the bag relative to your annual income and the function it serves. We also remind you to always check with your tax professional.



Stylist // Rosie M

  • Wed 14th Dec 2016