Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses you can claim
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 that your employer has registered with AusIndustry - check with your employer if you are not sure
- protective clothing and footwear to protect you from the risk of illness or injury, or to prevent damage to your ordinary clothes, caused by your work or work environment. Items may include sun-protection clothing, safety coloured vests, rubber boots and steel-capped boots.
Note: Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens are not considered to be items of protective clothing but you can claim a deduction for these items if you:
- have to work in the sun for all or part of the day
- use these items to protect yourself from the sun while at work.
You can claim these expenses at item D5 Other work-related expenses on your tax return.
If you are doing your own tax return, ensure you select the code letter that describes the type of clothing you are claiming.
Non-compulsory work uniform
Compulsory work uniform
Lena is a sales person with a large real estate company. She also works in the reception area for a number of hours each day. The reception staff wear a suit in the company's colours monogrammed with the company logo. It is not compulsory for a staff member to wear the clothing but the employer encourages staff members to do so.
Lena can claim a deduction for the cost of buying and maintaining the suit if the uniform is entered on the Register of approved occupational clothing. It is the employer who seeks registration for the clothing with AusIndustry.
End of example
Laundry and dry-cleaning
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.
If your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less, or the total amount of your laundry expenses is $150 or less, you do not need to keep receipts or other written evidence of your claim. 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 that you do not have a receipt for
- expenses that you cannot get any kind of evidence for regardless of the amount – for example, a diary record of your laundromat costs.
Note: If you fill out your own income tax return, you can claim these expenses at item D3 Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses.
Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses you cannot claim
You cannot claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing or cleaning a plain uniform or conventional clothing you wear to work, even if your employer tells you to wear it. This includes:
- clothing you wear for medical reasons, such as support stockings
- conventional clothing that is damaged at work
- everyday footwear such as dress, casual or running shoes.
Mike is a real estate agent. At work, Mike has to wear shirts his employer provides. Each shirt has his employer's company logo embroidered on it. As part of his uniform, he also has to wear black pants and black shoes.
Mike can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering the shirts as they are:
- distinctive items with the employer's logo
- compulsory for him to wear at work.
However, he cannot claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning his black pants or shoes as they are items of a conventional nature.
End of example