CAN YOU CLAIM YOUR WORK CLOTHING AS A TAX DEDUCTION?
The ATO allows you to claim the purchase and washing of work clothing if it satisfies certain criteria.
To be eligible, your work clothing must meet at least one of the following criteria.
Protective: your work clothing protects you from the risks inherent to your job. Steal capped boots, hard hats, high visibility clothing, aprons, & overalls are all considered protective clothing. However, a receptionist in an office could not claim steal capped boots as a tax deduction as there are no inherent risks in the job that would require steal capped boots.
Occupation specific: Work clothing that is not everyday in nature and allows the public to easily identify your occupation can be claimed as a tax deduction. A chef’s checked pants, a judge’s robe and wig, and a security guard’s uniform are all examples of occupation specific clothing. A business suit is not an occupation specific uniform as it is everyday in nature and does not identify the occupation. Likewise, the black pants and white shirt of a waiter are not occupation specific clothing as they are everyday in nature and don’t identify the occupation. The swimsuit of a swimming instructor is also not deductible under these circumstances.
Compulsory work uniform: This is a uniform that identifies you as an employee of a specific organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear this uniform while at work. This uniform must be distinctive to your organisation by its logo or design and must not be available to the general public. A plain uniform that is not distinct to your organisation can not be claimed as a tax deduction. However, items such as shoes, socks, and stockings may form part of a tax deductible uniform where they are essential to your compulsory uniform and their characteristics (colour, style, and type) are specified in your employer’s uniform policy (such as in the airline industry).
Non-compulsory work uniform: You can only claim the costs of a non-compulsory uniform if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry. Shoes, sock, and stockings can never form part of a non-compulsory work uniform.
Laundry: The washing of work-related clothing that meets one of the above criteria may also be claimed as a tax deduction. You may claim up to $150 of laundry without any written evidence by using the following reasonable basis.
– $1 per load if the load is made up of only work-related clothing
– $0.50 per load if the load is mixed with other laundry
Dry cleaning may also be claimed as a tax deduction. However, you may need written evidence if your total work-related expenses exceed $300.
For further information, please visit https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Clothing,-laundry-and-dry-cleaning-expenses/