Blue Orchid Accounting - Pattern

Work Uniform Expenses


There are so many different types of jobs that require you to wear a uniform and/or protective clothing. But unfortunately, many organisations don’t provide these, or offer them at a discounted price to their employees. 

But what can you do about it? 

Well, there is good news! You may be able 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: 

Do your circumstances fit with any of the following categories? 

  1. Is your uniform compulsory? 

If you have a compulsory uniform that is strictly enforced in your workplace, then you may 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 that does not have a logo, regardless of whether your employer requires you to wear it to work. 

  1. 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. 

  1. Non-compulsory Uniforms

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. 

  1. Occupation Specific Clothing

This type of clothing is a uniform that identifies you to your employer or profession. For example, the checker pants of a chef are occupation-specific, whereas the black and white waiter’s uniform does not identify you to a specific employer or profession. 

  1. Protective Clothing

Anything you may wear while working to help 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. 

  1. Costumes 

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.