tax agents in perth
tax agents in perth

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides guidelines on claiming deductions for clothing, laundry, and dry-cleaning expenses.

  1. You can’t claim a deduction for buying, hiring, repairing, or cleaning conventional clothing you buy for work, even if your employer says the clothing is compulsory or you only wear it at work. ‘Conventional clothing’ is everyday clothing worn by people regardless of their occupation.
  2. You also can’t claim a deduction if your employer:
  • buys, repairs, replaces or cleans your work clothing
  • reimburses you for expenses you incur for work clothing.
  1. You can claim your costs to buy or clean occupation-specific clothing that distinctly identifies you as a person associated with a particular occupation but You can’t claim for clothes you wear for work that are not specific to your occupation, may be worn in multiple professions or are everyday clothes.

 

Here are some Key Points Related to Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses


Conventional Clothing:

Conventional clothing is everyday clothing worn by people regardless of their occupation. You cannot claim deductions for everyday clothing worn for work, even if your employer mandates it.


Protective Clothing:

Deductions are allowed for clothing and footwear that protect against the risk of illness or injury related to work activities.

To be considered protective, the items must have both:

  • protective features or functions
  • a sufficient degree of protection against the risk of illness and injury you are exposed to in carrying out your work.

Protective clothing includes:

  • fire-resistant clothing
  • sun-protection clothing with a UPF sun protection rating
  • safety-coloured vests
  • non-slip nurse’s shoes
  • protective boots, such as steel-capped boots or rubber boots for concreters
  • gloves and heavy-duty shirts and trousers
  • occupational heavy duty wet-weather gear
  • boiler suits, overalls, smocks or aprons you wear to avoid damaging or soiling your ordinary clothes during your work activities.

Compulsory Work Uniform:

You can claim the costs you incur to buy and clean a compulsory uniform you wear at work. A compulsory uniform is a set of clothing that identifies you as an employee of an organisation. Your employer must make it compulsory to wear the uniform through a strictly enforced workplace agreement or policy.

 

  1. In limited circumstances, you can claim a deduction for shoes, socks and stockings if:
  • they are an essential part of a distinctive compulsory uniform
  • the characteristics (colour, style and type) are an integral and distinctive part of your uniform that your employer specifies in the uniform policy.
  1. You can claim for a single item of clothing, such as a jumper, if it’s distinctive and compulsory for you to wear it at work. Clothing is unique and distinctive if it:
  • has been designed and made only for the employer
  • has the employer’s logo permanently attached and is not available to the public.

Non-Compulsory Work Uniform:

Deductions are generally not allowed unless the design is registered with Ausindustry.

Shoes, stockings and underwear can never form part of a non-compulsory work uniform. Single items of clothing, such as a shirt, also can’t form part of a non-compulsory uniform unless they are a full body item such as a dress or overalls.

Laundry Expenses:

You can claim costs for laundering, dry-cleaning, or repairing work clothing, provided it is occupation-specific, protective, compulsory, or part of a registered non-compulsory uniform.

You can claim the costs you incur to wash (launder), dry and iron work clothing from one of the categories above.

This includes laundromat expenses.

You can’t claim a deduction if your employer launders your clothing or reimburses you.

We consider that a reasonable basis for working out your laundry claim is:

  • $1 per load if it only contains work clothing from one of the categories above
  • 50c per load if you mix personal items of clothing with work clothing from one of the categories above.

If you receive an allowance from your employer for laundry expenses:

  • you can only claim a deduction for the amount you actually spent, not simply the amount of your allowance
  • the allowance is assessable income that you must include on your tax return.

Glasses and Protective Eyewear:

Prescription glasses or contact lenses are not deductible, but safety goggles or glasses required for specific work environments may be.

Watches

You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of buying or maintaining watches or timepieces, even if you require one as part of your job. This is a private expense.

However, you can claim a deduction if your watch has special characteristics that you use for a work-related purpose. For example, a nurse can claim the cost of their fob watch.

Smart watches

As with ordinary watches, a smart watch (that connects to a phone or other device to provide notifications, apps and GPS, for example) is a private expense and not deductible under ordinary circumstances.

However, if you require some of the smart watch’s functions as an essential part of your employment activities you can claim a deduction for the expenses related to your work-related use of the smart watch. To show your work-related use of the watch, you need to keep a diary or similar record of your use of the device for a representative period.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

You may be able to claim a deduction for personal protective equipment (PPE) you buy and use at work. But You can’t claim a deduction if your employer pays or provides for PPE. To claim a deduction, you must need to use the PPE in direct connection to earning your employment income. This means:

  • you are exposed to the risk of illness or injury in the course of carrying out your work duties
  • the risk is not remote or negligible
  • in the circumstances there would be reason to expect the use of that kind of protective item
  • you use the item in the course of carrying out your work duties.

PPE includes items such as:

  • hard hats and helmets
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • earplugs
  • gloves
  • face masks or face shields
  • sanitiser
  • anti-bacterial spray.

PPE during COVID-19:

Expenses for face masks and other PPE during the pandemic are deductible if specific conditions are met.

Sunscreen and Sunhats:

Deductions for sunscreen and sunhats are allowed if the work involves prolonged outdoor exposure.

Protective Glasses and Clothing:

Deductions can be claimed for items that protect against real and likely risks of illness or injury at work.

 

It’s important to keep records, such as receipts and documentation, to support claims for these deductions.For more information, please contact ISM Accountants & Advisors- Best Tax Accountants in Perth on 09 63330375 or email us info@ismaccountants.com.au