Tax deductions and dry cleaning: what you need to know

It is that time of year when we are all trying to get our ducks in a row and get the best bang for our buck before we have to finalise taxes before the end of financial year. McGregors Dry Cleaners has done the research for you so you know exactly where you stand with dry cleaning expenses and tax deductions.

Tax deductions and dry cleaning: what you need to know

In Australia, the ATO does allow for some clothing, laundry and dry cleaning expenses to be deducted from individual tax returns but there are some strict boundaries.

What clothes can I claim as a tax deduction?

There are three categories of clothing that can be deducted on your tax return:

Occupation-specific clothing

If you wear something that helps the public recognize your occupation easily – and it is not something you would wear outside of work – you can claim the cost of buying and cleaning that item as a tax deduction. Eg: chef’s pants, nurse and doctor scrubs.

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Protective clothing

Particular clothing and footwear that provides sufficient protection against the risk of illness or injury associated with your work activities. Eg: sun protection clothing, safety coloured shirts and vests, overalls, smocks and aprons you would wear to protect your regular clothes. Eg: fluro tradesman shirts, firefighters uniform.

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Work uniforms

If you have a uniform that is unique and distinctive to the company you work for, you may be able to claim a deduction on your tax return.

  • Compulsory uniforms: if there is a strictly enforced policy about a particular outfit you must wear to work, you can claim a tax deduction. Furthermore, shoes, socks and stockings are included and individual items like a jumper can also be claimed. Eg: flight attendant, bank teller, office administration
  • Non-compulsory uniforms: You can only claim buying and cleaning these uniforms if they have been registered with Aus Industry. Your employer will be able to tell you if you are.

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Employers and small business owners please note:

  • Find out what the Aus Industry requirements are for Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Corporatewear register are right here.
  • Register your small business’ uniform with Aus Industry’s Textile Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Corporatewear Register here.

For clothes that meet the requirements we have just mentioned, you can claim the cost of washing, drying, ironing, dry cleaning and repairing those work-related garments.

What clothes can’t I claim for cleaning on my tax return?

  • Jeans
  • Plain shirts
  • Black pants
  • General business attire including suits, business shirts, ties, skirts and dresses.
  • Individual uniform pieces like a jumper if it is a non-compulsory uniform.

How do I claim allowable clothing expenses on my tax return?

For cleaning expenses up to $150 you will not need to provide evidence but it is still a good idea to maintain a record of any receipts and invoices for cleaning throughout the year. If your expenses exceed $150 for cleaning or is greater than $300 for total work related expenses you will need to provide receipts, invoices or written evidence. If you cleaned the garments yourself at home you can keep a diary record. A safe rule of thumb is to allow $1 per load of work-related clothes or $0.50 per load that includes other garments.

Work out how much of a deduction you are entitled to for your clothing and laundry expenses with the ATO’s work –related uniform expenses calculator.

Now is the perfect time to get into McGregors Dry Cleaners to freshen up your eligible work uniforms and qualify for a tax deduction before the end of the financial year. Ask us in store about the prepaid cards that our business customers love – you can save 25% on every order. We’d love to show you how.

*McGregors Dry Cleaners is not a financial institution and offers this content as general information to help their customers. It is advised that you discuss your particular situation with your accountant or the Australian Tax Office.

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