Filing Your Taxes While Working in Retail Sales

No matter whether you are a full-time or part-time cashier or retail sales associate, at tax time you need to report your income to the IRS by filing a tax return. Your employer will send you a Form W-2, reporting your earnings and commissions for the tax year. This form will also list your withholdings for income tax, Social Security and Medicare.

You can reduce your tax responsibility by claiming expense deductions for work related costs. If you have incurred expenses relating to your job but they have not been reimbursed by your employer or a third party, you may be able to claim these expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A of your tax return. Often, these deductions are subject to a 2% limitation.

If you have receipts to prove your costs, you can typically deduct expenses such as union dues, uniform costs, and subscriptions you’ve paid for work-related literature or publications. Educational expenses incurred can only be deducted if they relate to your current position, and are not required to obtain the minimum certification necessary to perform your job. If the qualifies you for a new position, it’s likely not deductible. You cannot be a retail worker looking to deduct educational expenses related to a biology degree, or the like. All educational expenses has to be relevant to your current occupation in order to be deducted.