When completing you tax return you will come across this question: Work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses. This question is referring to the expenses you incur as an employee for work-related:
- Protective clothing
- Occupation-specific clothing
- Laundering and dry-cleaning for clothing listed above
You are able to claim the cost of a work uniform that is distinctive (e.g. one that has your employer’s logo permanently attached to it) and it must be either:
- a non-compulsory uniform that your employer has registered with AusIndustry (check with your employer if you are not sure), or
- a compulsory uniform that can be a set of clothing or a single item that identifies you as an employee of an organisation. There must be a strictly enforced policy making it compulsory to wear that clothing at work. Items may include shoes, stockings, socks and jumpers where 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:
- occupation-specific clothing which allows people to easily recognise that occupation (e.g. checked pants a chef wears when working) and which are not for everyday use
- protective clothing and footwear to protect you from the risk of illness or injury, or to prevent 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 (but not jeans).
You can also claim the cost of renting, repairing and cleaning any of the above work-related clothing.
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.
You will need:
- invoices, or
- other written evidence (such as diary records)
You must have written evidence for your laundry and dry-cleaning expenses if:
- in the case of laundry expenses, the amount of your claim is greater than $150
- 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.
If you received assessable income from your work as an employee outside of Australia that is shown on a PAYG payment summary – foreign employment, you must claim any deductible work-related clothing, laundry or dry-cleaning expenses you incurred in earning that income at this item.
Information sourced from ATO website here
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