Clothing and laundry - It pays to learn what you can claim
Do you need to wear a suit to work? Or perhaps you need to wear a uniform emblazoned with your company's logo? Perhaps you work in a clothes shop and have to come to work wearing clothes bought in that store? It's important to clarify your employer's dress code policy so you can confirm how to claim clothes come tax time.
What can you claim?
- You can claim a deduction for occupation-specific clothing. This means it is specific to your occupation, is not every day in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation. An example of this is the checked pants a chef wears.
You can claim a deduction for protective clothing and footwear you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by
the activities you undertake to earn your income. The clothing must provide a sufficient degree of protection against that risk. Examples
- Fire-resistant and sun-protection clothing
- Hi-vis safety vests
- Non-slip nurse's shoes
- Steel-capped boots
- Overalls, smocks and aprons you wear to protect your ordinary clothes from soiling or damage.
You can claim a deduction for a compulsory or non-compulsory uniform that is unique and distinctive to the organisation you work for:
- Unique if it has been designed and made only for the employer
- Distinctive if it has the employer's logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the public
- You can't claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing or cleaning clothes you bought to wear for work that are not specific to your occupation, such as black trousers and a white shirt, or a suit, even if your employer says this is compulsory. There items are conventional, not usually a specific type and not sufficiently distinctive or unique to your employer.
- You can't claim a deduction for ordinary clothes (such as jeans, drill shirts, shorts, trousers, socks or closed shoes) as they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work.
Cleaning of work clothes
It's possible to claim the costs of washing, drying, ironing and dry-cleaning eligible work clothes. Written evidence for your laundry expenses, such as diary entries and receipts must be kept if both the amount of your claim is greater than $150, and your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300.
Instead, for washing, drying and ironing you do yourself, the ATO allows you to use the following amounts to work out your laundry claim:
- $1 per load (this includes washing, drying and ironing) if the load is made up only of work-related clothing, and
- 50 cents per load if other laundry items are included.
For further queries or information please don't hesitate to contact The Money Edge.
The Money Edge | Bundaberg