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Work related uniform, occupation specific or protective clothing, laundry and dry cleaning expenses

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As a taxpayer you can claim the cost associated with buying and cleaning work-related clothing. ATO allows an individual tax payer to claim the cost incurred to purchase certain work related uniform, occupational specific or protective clothing along with the cost of cleaning and dry cleaning expenses. As an individual taxpayer you can claim the following expenses you incurred as an employee for work related:

  • Uniforms;
  • Protective clothing;
  • Occupation-specific clothing, and;
  • Laundering and dry-cleaning of clothing listed above.


Clothing that you have to purchase for your work those are either compulsory or non-compulsory, unique and distinctive from your regular clothes are deductible expenses. Following bullet points are briefly describing important terms under this section:

  • Unique clothes: Designed and made only for the employer;
  • Distinctive clothes: Employers logo permanently attached to the cloth;
  • Compulsory Uniform: Clothing identifies you as an employee of a particular organisation and with strict enforcement to wear the uniform at work;
  • Non-Compulsory uniform: Clothing of your own choice, which is not an allowable deduction unless design is registered by the employer with AusIndustry;
  • Cost of purchasing or cleaning a plain uniform is not allowable deduction.

Protective Clothing

Clothing and footwear that you use to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury from your occupational activities and workplace environment is an allowable deduction. Substances which provide sufficient degree of protection against relative risk are only considered as protective clothing, that includes:

  • Fire-resistant and sun-protection clothing;
  • Safety-coloured vests;
  • Non-slip nurse's shoes;
  • Rubber boots for concreters;
  • Steel-capped boots, gloves, overalls, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers;
  • Overalls, smocks and aprons you wear to avoid damage or soiling to your ordinary clothes during your income-earning activities;
  • Ordinary clothes and normal footwear are not allowable deduction.

Occupation Specific Clothing

Cost incurred for purchasing and cleaning clothing which is not common but very specific to the occupation you are in are allowable deductions. These are not natural everyday clothing, however these clothing helps people to easily distinguish your occupation (e.g. chef's checked pants, nurse's traditional uniform, Judge's robe).

Laundry and Dry Cleaning Expenses

As an individual taxpayer ATO also allows you to claim the cost of renting, repairing and cleaning any of the above work-related clothing as laundry expenses. ATO gives consent to claim Laundry and Dry Cleaning Expenses up to $150 without any written evidence, if your expenses increase the amount you will need:

  • Receipts;
  • Invoices; or
  • Other written evidence (e.g. diary records).

You also need these evidence when your work-related expenses exceed $300 without travel, meal or some other allowances. You can calculate your expenses based on any reasonable way when you are washing, drying or ironing work-related clothing by yourself (e.g. $1 per load for work-related clothing, or 50 cents per load if other laundry items were included).

When as an employee outside of Australia you are receiving assessable income which 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. If that is not shown on PAYG summary, then you can claim your deductions at item 20 foreign source income and foreign assets or property.

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