Are Corporate Uniforms Tax Deductible?

Are Corporate Uniforms tax deductible? The answer is a little more complex than you might imagine.

 Compulsory Uniform

 The Australian Government allows people to claim the cost of corporate uniforms which are deemed ‘compulsory and necessary’. But, what does this mean? Compulsory uniforms must tick at least some the following boxes:

  •  Distinctive to the company (i.e includes a logo or brand colours).
  •  Not part of every-day wear. If you would wear if out of the workplace, you can't claim it.

 Required as part of a dress-code policy which is able to be enforced.

  •  Corporate uniforms which are industry specific and help to identify that profession are tax deductible. For example, black and white checked chef’s pants.

 Policy is Key

 In order for Corporate uniforms to be tax deductible, they need to be part of a dress-code policy. This means that a business dictates what uniform is and is not allowed, what accessories can be worn with that as well as other guidelines about general presentation, tattoos and footwear. Policies which are simple, clear and fair are the best.

Parts of corporate uniforms such as stockings and socks must be distinctive colours that someone would not usually wear in order for them to be tax-deductible. That means black socks or stockings can’t be claimed - even if a business requires employees to wear them. The logic behind this is that people will get wear out of these items outside of the office.

Laundering and Cleaning

 Laundering costs for Corporate Uniforms which are deemed as compulsory are tax deductible too. So, things like nurses scrubs and sports jerseys can be cleaned at no cost to the employee. Make sure to keep your receipts though - otherwise claiming these costs can be tricky.

What You Can't Claim

Not all corporate uniforms are created equal. Some items cannot be claimed as tax deductible. Here’s your guide to some common things you can't claim:

  •  Socks and stockings which are of a usual colour (grey, white, black, nude)
  • Black pants
  • White shirts
  • Cleaning of these items
  • Corporate uniform items which are not required by a dress-code
  • Footwear which is not used for protective purposes
  • Tools for work which are not required or specific to your industry




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