Tax Tip #5 from columnist Josee Sauve
A lot of people think or are told and believe that they can deduct the expenses they incurred during the course of their employment (uniforms, safety boots, First Aid courses, parking etc.). The truth is that none of these can be claimed on your income tax return. Schedule 1 already provides individuals with the Canada Employment Amount in the amount of $1178 which means that if you earned $1178 or more in income, you are already claiming $1178 in Employment Expenses.
Transportation Employees (Truckers & Railway workers), Tradespersons who have to buy their own tools and employees required to use their vehicles or a home office as part of their contract may be entitled to claim Employment Expenses. However, in order to claim Employment Expenses, your employer must complete form TL2 (Claims for Meals & Lodging Expenses) or T2200 (Declaration of Conditions of Employment) attesting to the fact that you do have to pay these expenses as part of your contract and you were not reimbursed for the expenses.
Motor Vehicle Expenses are the most popular Employment Expense but there are very strict guidelines that must be followed in order to do so. An employee must keep logs of every single kilometre they claim as an employment expense and MUST be able to provide the names and addresses of their trips (and in the nursing industry, this could present a problem because of privacy issues – your employer may not allow you to divulge the addresses and names of your clients), keep all receipts (gas, maintenance, insurance, licensing) and must take odometer readings on the first and last day of each year. This is a non-negotiable obligation if you wish to claim Motor Vehicle Expenses. You also must NOT have received reimbursements (or be entitled to receive reimbursements) for the motor vehicle expenses from your employer.