How to claim for work clothing at tax time

The rules regarding what can be claimed as a tax deduction for work clothing can often be confusing and without the right advice you may be missing legitimate tax deductions in this area. Here we take you through what you can claim and what you can’t.

What you can claim as a tax deduction

You can claim as tax deduction if you are buying and cleaning the following;

  • Clothing that is only worn by those that do your job. Some examples are the uniform that dentists wear or a pilot’s uniform.
  • Protective clothing and footwear that your wear while doing your job. However, the items must actually provide a real level of protection. For example, those that work outdoors your sun protection clothing can be claimed.

What you can’t claim as a tax deduction

If you are buying or cleaning clothes that you have bought for work and you could also wear these clothes outside of work, then unfortunately you can’t claim these as a tax deduction.

For example, if you are an office worker you can’t claim the cost of buying and cleaning your suit, even though you may be required to wear a suit to work. The reason for this is that a suit is not specific to your occupation and it may be worn outside of your occupation.

In terms of claiming ordinary clothing, such as closed shoes, jeans or shirts as protective clothing you won’t be able to claim for these if they don’t have the protective qualities that are required for your occupation.

If you would like more information regarding how you can claim a tax deduction for work clothing then please contact me at

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