Claiming deductions on work related clothing

12th March 2019 |

Did you know that not every work related clothing expense is tax deductible?

To be able to claim, the type of work clothing must fall under either of three categories:

1. Occupation-specific clothing: This is for clothing and items which are related solely to your occupation and are not ordinarily worn. This would include a chef’s uniform and chequered pants, a nurses uniform and barrister’s robes. It does not include ordinary conventional clothing (ie blacks pants, white shirt, black enclosed shoes).

2. Protective clothing: This is where your occupation requires you to wear clothing or PPE to protect yourself from injuries or illness while you are performing your duties. These includes, safety vests, non-slip nurse’s shoes and steel-capped boots, overalls, sun protection etc.

3. Work uniforms: This covers employees who’s occupation requires them to wear a certain uniform such as police and airline pilots, also employees who are required to wear a uniform which it’s design has been entered into the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing. Even though an employer might require a certain type or colour of clothing to be worn, it is not deductible unless it is registered.

If your work clothing falls into the above categories, then you may be able to claim deduction of the cost of purchase and cleaning.


Claiming cleaning costs of your deductible work clothing.

If your total clothing deduction is greater than $150 and the total of your work-related expenses deductions exceed $300 then the ATO requires you to keep documents to support your claim. We recommend that you keep all receipts & diary entries for your work related purchases and laundry expenses.

If you don’t use dry-cleaning services, then a reasonable claim for self-laundered work related clothing would be as follows:

  • $1 per wash (includes washing, drying & ironing), if the washing load contains only your work related clothing
  • $0.50 per wash if you are washing work clothes with regular clothing


Keep the above in mind when you are preparing your income tax return this year.

Before claiming, always make sure that you have incurred the cost and can substantiate all amounts.

Give CrossCorp a call if you have any questions!

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