You can save big just by claiming your work uniform expenses on your tax return!
There are many types of jobs that require you to wear a uniform and/or protective clothing. Unfortunately many organisations don’t provide these, or at best offer them at a discounted price to their employees.
But for you the costs of these items, especially when they are specialised, can really hurt your bank balance.
And who wants to spend all their hard earned money on work gear in any case? Not me! And I doubt you do either.
But what can you do about it?
Well, there is good news! You can get a good proportion of that cash back at tax time. But you need to know what work uniform expenses you can and can’t claim on your tax return. So here goes:
Have a look at our list below – do your circumstances fit with the following categories?
Is your uniform compulsory?
If you have a compulsory uniform that is strictly enforced at your workplace, then you can claim for the cost of purchasing it. It must have a company logo and identify you with your place of work. You can’t make a claim for normal business wear (such as plain black pants) that does not have a logo, regardless of whether your employer requires you to wear it to work.
Do you have single items of compulsory clothing?
You can also claim for a single item of compulsory clothing, such as a shirt or a tie. However, it too must also be distinctive to your employer. For example, a business shirt with the company logo permanently attached to it and not available to the general public can be claimed.
If your employer encourages you to wear a corporate wardrobe but does not enforce it, you can only claim if the uniform is registered with Ausindustry. You cannot claim for stockings, socks or shoes because these cannot be part of a registered uniform. Unsure? Ask your employer if your uniform is registered or not.
Occupation Specific Clothing
This type of clothing is a uniform that identifies you to your employer or profession. For example the checkered pants of a chef are occupation-specific, whereas a black and white waiter’s uniform does not identify you to a specific employer or profession.
Anything you may wear while working to protect yourself from injury or risk of injury can be classified as protective clothing. Examples include aprons, steel-capped boots, safety vests and wet weather gear.
As a performing artist you can claim the cost of purchasing costumes you buy or hire for a role. You must however already have the role to make the claim – you can’t claim if you are just auditioning.
Have a question or opinion on tax deductions for uniforms? Contact us by phone with your query or if you prefer, email the team on [email protected].