Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses
You may be able to claim a deduction for the costs you incur when you buy, rent, repair or clean your work clothing. Deductible work clothing includes:
- compulsory uniforms and corporate wardrobes
- a single item of distinctive clothing such as a jumper, shirt or tie with the employer's logo if it is compulsory for you to wear it
- a non-compulsory corporate uniform if your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry
- protective clothing.
You can claim a deduction for the cost of washing, drying and ironing your deductible work clothing as laundry expenses. This also includes laundromat expenses and the actual cost of dry-cleaning.
A compulsory uniform is a set of clothing that, worn together, identifies you as an employee of an organisation having a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while at work.
You may be able to claim a deduction for shoes, socks and stockings if they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform, the characteristics of which (colour, style, type) are specified in your employer’s uniform policy. Wearing of the uniform must be consistently enforced. If your employer requires you to wear a distinctive uniform but does not consistently enforce the wearing of the uniform, the design of the uniform must be registered before you can claim a deduction, see Non-compulsory uniforms or corporate wardrobe.
Single items of compulsory clothing
You may be able to claim for a single item of distinctive clothing, such as a jumper or tie, if it is compulsory for you to wear it at work. Generally, clothing is distinctive if it has the employer’s logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the general public.
Non-compulsory uniforms or corporate wardrobe
If your employer requires or encourages you to wear a distinctive uniform or corporate wardrobe but does not consistently enforce the wearing of it, you can claim a deduction for the cost of the clothing only if the design of the clothing is registered. If you wear a non-compulsory uniform or corporate wardrobe, you cannot claim for stockings, socks or shoes as these items cannot be registered as part of a non-compulsory uniform. Your employer can tell you if your non-compulsory uniform or corporate wardrobe is registered.
Protective clothing and footwear protects you from the risk of illness or injury, or prevents damage to your conventional (everyday) clothes, caused by your work or work environment.
Protective clothing may include:
- fire-resistant clothing
- sun-protection clothing
- safety coloured vests
- rubber boots
- items designed to protect the wearer from risk of injury at work, such as
- steel-capped boots
- heavy duty shirts and trousers.
Jeans, drill shirts and trousers that are not designed to protect the wearer are not considered to be protective clothing.
Keeping records of your clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses
You do not need to keep receipts or other written evidence of your claim if the total amount of your laundry expenses is $150 or less, or your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less. However, you must be able to show how you worked out your claim.
If your claim for laundry expenses is more than $150 and your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300 (not including car, meal allowance, award transport payment allowance and travel allowance expenses), the records you must keep include:
- receipts, or other written evidence of your expenses
- diary entries you make to record
- your small expenses ($10 or less) totalling no more than $200 for which you do not have a receipt
- expenses that you cannot get any kind of evidence for regardless of the amount – for example, a diary record of your laundromat costs.