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Clothing, Laundry, and Dry Cleaning Expenses

Written by Fitzpatrick Group • Senior Accountant
Published on 14 Jun 2017

If you have to follow a dress policy at your work, you may be able to claim the purchase and cleaning of your clothes as a deduction. The ATO does allow for deductions, as long as they meet their criteria.


What kind of clothes can I claim?

Occupation Specific Clothing – the purchase of clothing that is not every day in nature and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation – such as checked chef pants or barrister’s cape – can be claimed.

Protective Clothing – you can claim the clothing and footwear needed to protect yourself while performing your work or from the environment you are doing it in. Examples of protective clothing include:

  • Fire-Resistant and sun-protection clothing
  • Non-slip nurse’s shoes
  • Steel capped or rubber shoes
  • Heavy-duty shirts and trousers

Work Uniform – Any clothing that is unique to the organisation you work for, and not available to the general public, can be claimed. These uniforms do not need to be compulsory.


What can’t be claimed?

General Clothing – Just because you have bought clothing for work does not mean it is occupation specific. Unfortunately for many office workers you cannot claim the cost of cleaning and purchasing clothes that are not specific to your work. This includes suits, office shirts and dresses.

Ordinary Clothes not deemed Protective – Jeans, shirts, trousers and some shoes are not regarded as protective as they are not designed with the protective qualities for the risks of your work. For example, closed shoes might provide some protection for your feet, but unless they are over or above a general level of protection you won’t be able to claim a deduction.


What can I claim for cleaning?

If you do have work-specific clothing, you can claim the costs of washing, laundry, drying, ironing and dry-cleaning them. The rates for cleaning suggested by the ATO are:

  • $1 per load if it is made up of only work-related clothing
  • $0.50 for loads mixed with other laundry items

It is important to note that you will need written evidence, such as a diary or receipts if your total work-related expenses exceed $300.


Check out another recent blog in this category.

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