Tax Deduction for Work Clothing & Uniform?
Tax Return - Tax Deduction for Work Clothing & Uniform?

Tax Deduction for Work Clothing & Uniform?

Published on January 1, 2018
Sam Inayat - Bookkeeping, Tax return and BAS expert

Senior Accountant at Top Accountants

Do you need to wear a uniform to work? Or perhaps you need to wear industry specific clothing? If your answer is YES, then you may be eligible to claim deduction for work clothing or uniform expenses.

In this article we will cover following work clothing tax deduction questions:

  1. Eligibility Criteria to claim deduction for work clothing or uniform?
  2. List of work related clothing expenses which you can claim?
  3. Compulsory work uniform?
  4. Non-compulsory work uniform?
  5. Occupation-specific clothing?
  6. Protective clothing?
  7. Cleaning expenses of work clothing?

> 1. Eligibility Criteria to claim deduction for work clothing or uniform?

To make a deduction you may need to have written evidence that you purchased the clothing and diary records or written evidence of your cleaning costs.

In order to become eligible to claim work clothing deduction, tax payer must fall into below categories and its specific tax ruling.

2. List of work related clothing expenses which you can claim?

You can claim a deduction forthe cost of buying and cleaning:

Ordinary clothes (such as jeans, drill shirts, 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 purchasing or cleaning ordinary clothes you wear for work that may also protect you. For example, you can't claim for normal, closed shoes, even though you wear them to protect your feet.

3. Compulsory work uniforms?

This is a set of clothing that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you're at work.

You may be able to claim a deduction for shoes, socks and stockings where they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform and where their characteristics (colour, style and type) are specified in your employer's uniform policy.

You may be able to claim for a single item of distinctive clothing, such as a jumper, if it's compulsory for you to wear it at work.

4. Non-compulsory uniform?

You can claim for a non-compulsory uniform provided it is unique and distinctive to the organisation you work for. In addition, non-compulsory work uniforms must usually have a design registered with AusIndustry in order to be tax deductible.

You can't claim expenses incurred for non-compulsory work uniforms unless your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.

Shoes, socks and stockings can never form part of a non-compulsory work uniform, and neither can a single item such as a jumper.

5. Occupation-specific clothing?

You can claim for clothing that is specific to your occupation, is not everyday in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation - such as the checked pants a chef wears.

You can't claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning clothes you bought to wear for work that are not specific to your occupation, such as a bartender's black trousers and white shirt, or a suit.

6. Protective clothing?

You can claim for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income-earning activities or the environment in which you are required to carry them out. To be considered protective, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk. Protective clothing includes:

Ordinary clothes are not regarded as protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work.

7. Cleaning expenses of work clothing?

You can claim the costs of washing, drying and ironing eligible work clothes, or having them dry-cleaned. You must have written evidence, such as diary entries and receipts, for your laundry expenses if both:

Dry-cleaning expenses:

You can claim the cost of dry-cleaning work-related clothing. If your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300 - not including car, meal allowance, award transport payments allowance and travel allowance expenses - you must have written evidence to substantiate your claim.