Claiming Work Clothes, Uniforms & Overalls

(last updated 23/04/2014)

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Compulsory uniforms

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 can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, renting, repairing and cleaning a compulsory uniform.

You may be able to claim a deduction for shoes, socks and stockings where 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. The uniform policy must be consistently enforced. 

See this post for more details on claiming Compulsory Uniforms.

Single items of compulsory clothing

You may be able to claim for a single item of distinctive clothing, such as a jumper, where it is compulsory for you to wear it at work. Generally, clothing is distinctive where it has the employer's logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the general public. 

Non-compulsory uniform or wardrobe

Jf your employer encourages you to wear a uniform or corporate wardrobe but it is not compulsory for you to wear one, you can claim a deduction for the cost of the clothing only if the design of the clothing  has been entered on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing of the TCFDA. Details of registered corporate wardrobes can be obtained either from your employer or from the Department of Industry directly on 03 9268 7944 - NOTE, there is no longer a public register available on the web.

If you wear a non-compulsory uniform or wardrobe, you cannot claim for stockings, short 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 wardrobe is registered. If your employer requires you to wear a distinctive uniform or wardrobe 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 this post for more details on claiming Non-compulsory Uniforms.

Occupation specific clothing

You can claim a deduction for the cost of occupation specific clothing. This is clothing that is specific to your occupation, is not everyday in nature and would allow the public to easily recognise your occupation—for example, a barrister's robes.

Protective Clothing

You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, replacing or maintaining protective clothing. This is clothing that protects you from injury at work or protects your everyday clothing from damage. 

Laundry and dry cleaning

If you can claim a deduction for your eligible work clothes as described above, you can also claim a deduction for the cost of cleaning them. You can claim laundry expenses for washing, drying or ironing such work clothes, including laundromat expenses. If your claim for laundry expenses is $150 or less, you do not need written evidence—you may use a reasonable basis to work out your claim.
If you claim a deduction for laundry expenses that is more than $150 and your total claim for work expenses—other than car, meal allowance, award transport allowance and travel allowance expenses—exceeds $300, you need written evidence for the total claim. You can claim the cost of dry cleaning eligible work clothes as described above, if you have kept written evidence to substantiate your claim. You do not need written evidence if your total claim for work expenses is $300 or less. 

Uniform Allowances Received

If you receive an allowance for clothing, uniforms and or laundry allowance it should be shown in the Allowance Box on the Annual PAYG Payment Summary. See this post for a checklist of eTax and Assessable Income.

E-tax Return

See these posts with tips, calculators and checklists to help you prepare your eTax Return (and get a better refund) with less hassle:
For help with your eTax return see our eTax Return Checklist.

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