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myTax 2019 Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses

How to complete the work-related clothing expenses section of your return using myTax.

Last updated 25 June 2019

You may be able to claim work-related clothing expenses such as:

  • protective clothing
  • uniforms
  • occupation-specific clothing
  • laundering and dry-cleaning of this clothing


Remember, to claim a work-related deduction:

  • you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
  • it must be directly related to earning your income
  • you must have a record to prove it.

If your total claim for work-related expenses is more than $300, you must have written evidence to prove your claims.

You can claim

You can claim the cost of a work uniform that is distinctive (such as one that has your employer’s logo permanently attached) and must be:

  • a non-compulsory uniform your employer has registered with AusIndustry (check with your employer if you are not sure)
  • a compulsory uniform that is either a set of clothing or a single item identifying you as an employee of an organisation – there must be a policy enforcing its use. This may include shoes, stockings, socks and jumpers if they are an essential part of a distinctive, compulsory uniform and the colour, style and type are specified in your employer’s policy.

You can also claim the cost of:

  • 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.
  • protective clothing and footwear protecting you from the risk of illness or injury, or preventing damage to your ordinary clothes caused by your work or work environment – items may include fire-resistant clothing, sun protection clothing, safety-coloured vests, non-slip nurse’s shoes, steel-capped boots, gloves, overalls, aprons, and heavy duty shirts and trousers.

You can also claim the cost of renting, repairing and cleaning any of the above work-related clothing.

For more information, see Deductions you can claim.

You cannot claim

You cannot claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning plain uniforms or clothes, such as black trousers, white shirts, suits or stockings, even if your employer requires you to wear them.

Depreciation and capital expenses

Individual taxpayers generally can't immediately deduct spending on assets costing more than $300; instead you claim the cost over time, reflecting the asset's depreciation (or decline in value).

Depreciation claims need to meet the following conditions:

  • you must apportion your claim to reflect the percentage that the asset was used for work purposes.
  • you must have directly incurred the cost of the asset and it was not reimbursed.

Examples of uniforms and occupation-specific clothing costing more than $300 include chemical protective clothing or biological hazard clothing.

You can use the Depreciation and capital allowances tool to work out any decline in value deduction as well as any deductible balancing adjustment when you stop holding a depreciating asset.

The tool can be accessed in the Deductions section on the Prepare return screen.

Expenses relating to foreign employment income

If you received assessable income from your work as an employee outside Australia shown on a PAYG payment summary – foreign employment, you must claim any work-related clothing expenses you incurred in earning that income at this section.

Do not show at this section

Do not show the following at this section:

  • The cost of protective equipment, such as hard hats and safety glasses. Show these at Other work-related expenses in the Deductions section.
  • Deductions against any assessable foreign employment income not shown on an income statement/PAYG payment summary - foreign employment. Show these at Foreign employment in the Foreign income, assets and entities section.
  • For any balancing adjustment, show:
    • losses at Other work-related expenses in the Deductions section.
    • profits at the Other income section.

If you used the Depreciation and capital allowance tool, any balancing adjustment amount will be automatically shown.

Completing this section

You will need:

  • receipts, invoices or other written evidence
  • diary records of your laundry costs if    
    • the amount of your laundry expenses claim is greater than $150, and
    • your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300 – the $300 does not include car and meal allowance, award transport payments allowance and travel allowance expenses.

If you did washing, drying or ironing yourself, you can use a reasonable basis to calculate the amount, such as $1 per load for work-related clothing or 50 cents per load if other laundry items were included.

We pre-fill your tax return with work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expense information you uploaded from myDeductions. Check for work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses not pre-filled and ensure you add them.

  1. For each work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expense not pre-filled in your tax return, select Add.
  2. Select the Clothing type and enter the amount.
  3. Select Save.
  4. Select Save and continue when you have completed the Deductions section.

Note: If you used the Depreciation and capital allowances tool, fields containing information from the tool cannot be directly adjusted in myTax. To make any adjustments to this information, or to add new assets to the tool, select the 'Use the depreciation and capital allowances tool' link.

Record keeping

Make sure you keep accurate records of work-related uniform, clothing and laundry expenses to make future claims.

There is more information on record keeping and written evidence in Keeping your tax records.

Managing your deductions

Are you always on the go? Save time and keep your tax organised with the ATO app's myDeductions tool.