Uniform expenses can be a tricky tax return area to navigate.
If you have to buy a smart new suit for your office job or a particular brand of clothing from your new employer, it might seem like these are obvious work expenses and valid tax deductions. Not necessarily, according to the Australian Taxation Office. If your work clothes can easily double as casual clothes or evening wear, then they’re no more tax deductible than anything else in your wardrobe.
To be eligible as a tax deduction, your uniform must be mandatory for your job and unsuitable for everyday wear.
When Uniform Expenses are Allowable as a Tax Deduction
The costs associated with purchasing and maintaining eligible work clothing, uniforms and protective clothing are tax deductible. Eligible work clothing includes:
• Items that you are required to wear that have your employer’s logo permanently affixed.
• A compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation, such as police uniforms, paramedics and defence force.
• Occupation-specific clothing, such as:
• Chefs jacket and pants
• A traditional nurses’ uniform
• Protective clothing and footwear which are items that protect you from the risk of illness or injury, or prevent damage to your ordinary clothes, including:
• Safety items such as glasses, gloves, steel-cap boots, high-visibility clothing, overalls, heavy duty shirts and pants, and fire resistant clothing
• Occupation-specific clothing, such as non-slip shoes worn by nurses
• Art smocks, aprons and lab coats
• Sun protection clothing and sunscreen
What You Cannot Claim as Uniform Expenses
Conventional clothing is not tax deductible, even if your employer requires that you wear specific items (such as business suits, specific coloured clothing, certain brands or items that your employer sells).
What You Can Claim as Uniform Expenses
• The purchase or rent cost of any of the eligible clothing items outlined above
• Maintenance of any of the eligible clothing items outlined above, including repairing and cleaning any of the work-related or protective clothing mentioned above, with the following provisions:
• If your tax deduction claim for laundry is under $150, no written documentation is required. The Australian Taxation Office calculates the cost of laundry at $1 per load of work-related clothing, or 50 cents per load if other laundry items are included.
If you are claiming dry-cleaning or clothing repairs, you are required to keep receipts.Uniform