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Tax tips for uniform cleaning

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1. Clothing and costumes

If you have to wear specific items as part of your job such as a uniform, a suit or any safety equipment, you can claim some or all of them against tax.

2. Laundry and dry cleaning

Any cost you incur in the laundering or cleaning of your work clothes and equipment is tax deductible too, including dry cleaning costs, alterations or repairs.

Source: MoneyHound Website


The ATO website provides these requirements for claiming work-related clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses.

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 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.

The below information comes from the Tax Wise blog.

Laundry and dry-cleaning

You can claim a deduction for the cost of laundering and dry-cleaning work clothes that are eligible according to the relevant category described on this page – compulsory uniforms, single items of compulsory clothing, non-compulsory uniforms or corporate wardrobe, and protective clothing. This includes a uniform provided by your employer that you wear at work.

You can claim laundry expenses for washing, drying and ironing such work clothes, including laundromat expenses.

If your claim for laundry expenses is $150 or less, you do not need written evidence – you may use a reasonable basis to work out your claim. If you claim a deduction for laundry expenses that is more than $150 and your total claim for work-related expenses – other than car, meal allowance, award transport allowance and travel allowance expenses – exceeds $300 – you need written evidence for the total claim. You can claim the cost of dry-cleaning work clothes if you have kept written evidence to substantiate your claim. You do not need written evidence if your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less.

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