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Uniform Deductions and Laundry Expense

Want to know how to make the most out of tax deductions for laundry expenses and work-related clothing expenses? Want to maximise your tax refund this year? Then this blog is written for you!

So, you might think that all work clothes and uniforms are tax deductible, but, not everything is! So read on and check out how to claim uniforms, laundry and safety clothes or occupation specific clothing on your tax return.

If you want the big tax refund this year, then read on and learn how to claim tax deductions for getting dressed every day!

There are many different jobs that require a specific clothing or a compulsory uniform. Did you know that most of these items could be counted as a tax deductible expenses? Did you know doing the laundry could also be a tax deduction. You can claim the cost for buying and laundering occupation-specific clothing, protective gear and unique, distinctive uniforms.

There are some criteria that needs to be fulfilled, for your uniform and laundry expenses to be claimed as a tax deductible expense.

Firstly, the cost of the clothes must be paid for by you. If your company has purchased it for you, you are unable to claim the cost as a deduction, but you can probably still claim the laundry, so read on.

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Occupation-specific Clothing

You can claim a tax deduction for purchasing clothes that are specific to your occupation, isn’t every-day in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation. A good example of this is the checked pants a chef might wear.

You can’t claim the cost of purchasing or cleaning clothes you bought to wear for work that are not specific to your occupation. To stick with the hospitality example, a bartender’s black trousers and white shirt that could be worn for a lot of different jobs. Also, a business person’s suit or a swimming instructor’s swimwear. This clothing can be worn for purposes outside of your occupation so it is not tax deductible. If you do have occupation specific clothes read on to understand your laundry tax deduction.

Protective Clothing

You can claim a tax deduction for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect yourself from the risk of illness or injury posed by your income generating activities or the environment in which you carry them out. To be considered protective clothing, the items must provide a sufficient degree of protection against the risk in your workplace.

Protective clothing includes:

  • Fire resistant clothing
  • Sun protection clothing
  • safety vests
  • hi-vis vests
  • non-slip nurse’s shoes
  • rubber boots for concreters
  • steel-capped boots,
  • gloves, and heavy-duty shirts and trousers
  • overalls, smocks or aprons you wear to avoid damage or soiling your ordinary clothes during your income-earning activities.

These items will likely also need to be washed when you do your laundry. Read on for laundry tax deductions.

Ordinary clothes you wear at work (such as jeans, drill shirts, shorts, trousers, skirts, blouses, socks, closed shoes) are not regarded as protective clothing if they lack protective qualities designed for the risks of your work.

Uniform tax deductions

You can a uniform tax deduction claim for a uniform, either compulsory or non-compulsory, that is unique and distinctive to the organisation you work for.

Clothing is unique if it has been designed and made only for the employer. This allows you to claim a uniform tax deduction. Clothing is distinctive if it has the employer’s logo permanently attached and the clothing is not available to the public.

You can’t claim the cost of purchasing a plain uniform. You can’t claim a laundry tax deduction for a plain uniform either.

To claim a tax deduction, you may be required to have written evidence of the purchase of your clothing, as well as diary records or written evidence of laundry costs, if;

  • the amount you claim as a uniform tax deduction is more than $150
  • your total tax deduction claims for work-related expenses is more than $300
  • if you are claiming dry-cleaning expenses

A lot of businesses will have specific clothing with a badge allowing you to claim a uniform tax deduction.

Laundry Tax Deduction

Laundry for you work uniform, occupation specific clothing and protective clothing is tax deductible. So how do you claim a laundry tax deduction?

For laundry tax deductions at home for eligible work clothes, the rate that you can use for deductions is set out in the table below.

Laundry methodLaundry tax deduction
Laundry at home – laundry tax deductible clothes only.$1 per load for laundry tax deduction
Laundry at home – laundry tax deductible clothes mixed in with usual laundry.$0.50 per load for laundry tax deduction

If you don’t launder your clothes at home, you can still claim the same amounts as above for using a laundromat, or you have the option of keeping your receipts or a log book of the expenses.

You can claim a laundry tax deduction for up to $150 without evidence, but if your total laundry expenses is over $150, or total work expenses over $300 you will need to complete a log book or retain receipts.

Is dry cleaning tax deductible?

If you dry clean your work uniform, occupation specific clothing or protective clothing it is tax deductible. You will need to have paid for the cost of the dry cleaning and retain proof of the expense in the way of a receipt or credit card transaction or similar.

Claiming a tax deduction for laundry in your tax return will increase your tax refund. Getting a bigger refund just for washing your clothes is handy! If you still have any questions on what can and cannot be claimed, feel free to contact us via phone or email at [email protected]!

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One Click can help with your tax return!

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Dealing with an online tax agent is the easiest way to complete your tax return. You just log in and click on the year. You can also claim your online tax agent fees as a tax deduction – increasing your refund and getting the help you need for an easy tax return.

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