Work Clothing Deductions for 2023-24

Find out how to handle work clothes deductions for the 2023-2024 tax year. We’ll show you what you can and can’t claim so you can get the most out of your tax refund with our easy-to-follow guide.

Navigating the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rules on work clothing deductions can be a bit tricky. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you figure out what you can and can’t claim for the 2023-2024 tax year when it comes to clothing, laundry, and dry-cleaning expenses.

What You Can Claim

You can claim deductions for:

Occupation-specific clothing:

These are clothes that clearly mark you out as being in a particular job. Think of:

  • A chef’s chequered pants.
  • A judge’s robe.
Protective clothing:

These are items that keep you safe from work-related risks. Examples include:

  • Fire-resistant gear.
  • Sun-protection clothing with a UPF rating.
  • Safety-coloured vests, non-slip nurse’s shoes.
  • Protective boots like steel-capped boots for construction workers.
  • Gloves, heavy-duty shirts and trousers, and wet-weather gear.
Distinctive uniforms:

Uniforms that are unique to your employer and aren’t available to the general public. They usually have the company’s logo.

What You Can’t Claim

You can’t claim deductions for everyday work clothes, even if your employer says you must wear them. This includes:

  • Black trousers for waiters.
  • Business attire for office workers.
  • Jeans or drill shirts for tradespeople.

Also, if your employer buys, repairs, replaces, or launders your work clothes, or reimburses you for these expenses, you can’t claim a deduction.

Real-life Examples

Occupation-specific clothing:

Joe is a chef with two jobs. At a restaurant, he wears the traditional chef’s uniform (chequered pants, white jacket, and chef’s toque), which he can claim. However, he can’t claim the jeans and t-shirt he wears while working on a food truck.

Protective clothing:

Bert works on a building site and wears heavy denim abrasion-resistant trousers and steel-capped boots. He can claim these items as they protect him from injury at work.

Conventional clothing:

Bob, another construction worker, wears jeans and T-shirts at work for comfort. He can’t claim these items as they are conventional clothing, even if worn exclusively for work.

Compulsory Work Uniform

A compulsory work uniform is something that identifies you as an employee and is required by your workplace policy. You can claim costs for:

  • Uniforms distinctive to your organisation.
  • Shoes, socks, and stockings if they are an essential part of the uniform and specified by your employer.

Rick works at a supermarket with a policy requiring a shirt with the supermarket’s logo and black pants. Rick can claim the shirt but not the pants, as they are considered conventional clothing.

Non-Compulsory Work Uniform

You can’t claim non-compulsory work uniforms unless they are registered on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing. Shoes, stockings, and underwear can’t be claimed as part of these uniforms.


Lena works in administration for a bus company. Her employer has registered the company suit as a non-compulsory uniform. Lena can claim the cost of the suit because it is on the Register of Approved Occupational Clothing.

Laundry, Dry-Cleaning, and Repair Expenses

You can claim costs for laundering, dry-cleaning, or repairing work clothing if it is:

  • Occupation-specific.
  • Protective.
  • A compulsory uniform.
  • A registered non-compulsory uniform.
Laundry Expenses:
  • $1 per load if it only contains work clothing.
  • 50c per load if mixed with personal items.

Jelani washes her uniforms separately twice a week, working 48 weeks a year. She claims $96 for laundry expenses, calculated as 96 loads at $1 per load. Jelani also claims $250 in union fees, and although her laundry claim is under $150, she must keep records for her total work-related expenses, which exceed $300.

Keeping Records

Keep receipts showing:

  • Supplier’s name.
  • Amount spent.
  • Date and nature of the items.

If receipts aren’t available, use alternative evidence such as bank statements, invoices, or purchase orders. For claims under $300, you don’t need receipts but must explain the total amount. For laundry claims under $150, receipts aren’t required unless total work-related expenses exceed $300.

Use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to record expenses or upload photos of receipts. For detailed record-keeping information, visit Records you need to keep.

Contact Us for More on Work Clothing Deductions

If you need further assistance with your work clothing deductions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re here to help you navigate work clothing deductions and ensure you get the most out of your tax return.


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