If you have to wear a uniform or certain type of clothing, like protective gear, for work, then you may be able to claim tax deductions if you have to buy your own clothes. This isn't the only benefit you might get, however.
In some cases, you may be able to claim for washing and dry cleaning costs as well. Can you do this?
Are Your Clothes Eligible for Tax Deductions?
If you want to claim a cleaning deduction for work clothes, then the clothes themselves need to be eligible for a tax deduction. You can't just assume that any clothes you wear for work, even if you only wear them at work, will qualify.
Typically, eligible clothes include the following:
- Clothes that you have to wear as part of your job, like a barrister's court wear or a nursing uniform.
- Clothes that your employer requires or wants you to wear that are only made for the company. These clothes may be branded with a logo, for example.
- Clothes that you need to wear for your own protection like sun-resistant clothes. Or, clothes that you wear over your regular clothing to protect them while you work, like aprons or overalls.
If some or all of the clothes you wear at work are themselves eligible for a tax deduction, then you are usually also able to claim for some cleaning costs.
Which Cleaning Costs Are Eligible For a Deduction?
Typically, you can claim a workwear cleaning deduction to help defray the costs of the following:
- Dry cleaning
In some cases, you may be required to prove your costs to get the deduction. This can be tricky if you do your own washing and ironing.
It's not a stretch to hang on to dry cleaning bills, but you may not know how to work out your own cleaning costs. Plus, you may not know how to record them if you need proof as part of your tax return. You also have to work around deduction limits on these costs.
It may help to consult a tax agent at this stage. They can help you assess if your work clothes qualify for the initial deduction. They can then help you work out how much you'll be able to claim and how much proof you need to supply. They can also give you guidance on how to gather the right kind of written evidence.