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Tax Deduction for Clothing & Laundry

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

CATS4TAX – Tax Tip #9

A tax deduction is available for the cost of buying and cleaning occupation-specific clothing, protective clothing and distinctive uniforms. A claim can also be made for repairs and embroidery of deductible clothing.

Occupation-Specific clothing allows the public to easily recognise an occupation eg. Check pants of a chef, police officer’s uniform etc.

Protective clothing and footwear – a deduction may be claimed for items which protect the wearer from illness or injury from the activities undertaken to earn income. The items must provide a sufficient degree of protection eg. Fire-resistant & sun-protection clothing, hi-vis clothing, non-slip nurse’s shoes, steel-capped boots, overalls, smocks and aprons to protect ordinary clothing from damage. Thick woollen socks can be claimed for a welder.

A deduction is available for compulsory or non compulsory uniforms that are unique and distinctive to the employing organisation. Unique means it has been designed and made for the employer. The clothing is distinctive if the employer’s logo is permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the general public.

A compulsory work uniform can be claimed where the organisation has a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for employees to wear the uniform whilst at work.

You can claim a single item of clothing eg. Jumper, if it is compulsory for you to wear it at work.

A non-compulsory work uniform can only be claimed where the employer has registered the design with AusIndustry. Shoes, socks and stockings can never form part of a non-compulsory work uniform. You can’t claim a deduction for a single item of a non-compulsory uniform.

A deduction is denied for clothing that is not specific to your occupation eg. suits, even if your employer states that it is compulsory. A suit is conventional clothing and not sufficiently distinctive or unique to your employer. Ordinary clothing eg. Jeans, drills shorts, trousers, socks or closed in shoes are not claimable as they lack protective qualities to mitigate the risks at work. If your employer tells you to wear the latest clothing from the store that you work at, the cost of this is not deductible as these items are conventional clothing.

You may use a reasonable basis to calculate your laundry claim eg. $1 per load if the load consists of only work related clothing and 50c per load if other laundry items are included with the load.

For more information or clarification speak with your tax agent.

Get in touch with CATS4TAX:

0404 483 685

CATS4TAX, Mobile Accounting & Taxation Services


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