Claiming your work related clothing…

shoe warning signClaiming a deduction for work related clothing can be a tricky concept to grasp…

Here’s the official stance from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office):

You can claim the cost of a work uniform that is distinctive (such as 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 (such as the 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 claim the cost of protective equipment such as hard hats and safety glasses

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.”

Bottom line – the uniform must be registered if it’s not compulsory, compulsory and identifiable or related to your safety – one of the most common claim attempts is for shoes which in reality could be for every day wear…

Sadly for me, that means I can’t claim my heels…



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