Claiming Uniforms on your Tax Return - what to watch for
You can claim a tax deduction for the cost of buying and cleaning occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing, and unique, distinctive uniforms.
You need to keep receipts for the purchase, and diary records or written evidence of the cleaning costs to be able to make a claim.
We list the Uniforms & Laundry you can claim below.
Occupation specific clothing includes
items specific to your occupation that a member of the public could easily recognise your occupation, for example, a chef’s outfit or nurses’ outfit.
You can't claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning clothes you bought to wear for work that are not specific to your occupation, e.g. a bartender's black trousers and white shirt, a business person's suit or a swimming instructor's swimwear.
Protective clothing includes
fire-resistant and sun-protection clothing
non-slip nurse's shoes
rubber boots for concreters
steel-capped boots, gloves, overalls, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers
overalls, smocks and aprons you wear to avoid damage or soiling to your ordinary clothes during your income-earning activities.
Ordinary clothes you wear at work (such as jeans, drill shorts, shorts, trousers, socks, closed shoes) are not regarded as protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work.
You can't claim the cost of buying or cleaning ordinary clothes you wear for work that might also protect you. For example, you can't claim for normal, closed shoes, even though you wear them to protect your feet.
Compulsory work uniform
This is clothing that identifies you as an employee with a strict uniform policy that makes it compulsory to wear the uniform while you are at work. You may be able to claim a tax deduction for shoes, socks, and stockings where they are an essential part of a distinctive company uniform as specified specifically in your employer’s uniform policy.
Non-compulsory work uniform
You can’t claim tax expenses for non-compulsory uniforms unless your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.
Shoes, socks & stockings can never form part of a non-compulsory work uniform.
Laundry and Dry-Cleaning
If you are eligible to claim the cost of the uniform (above) then cleaning is also claimable. The ATO allows you to claim, without written evidence, $1 per load (Washing, drying, ironing) for a load of only work-related clothing or 50c per mixed load.
Dry-cleaning is also claimable – make sure you keep those receipts for maximum refunds.
Note that the information provided is general in nature and subject to change, please contact one of our professionals who can evaluate your circumstances and provide more accurate advice to your current situation.
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