Compulsory uniform or wardrobe
– uniforms that are compulsory and unique, or distinctive to the employer. Usually corporate wardrobes. It must be the expressed policy of the firm to wear the uniform and it must be enforced. All employees of the same class must be compelled to wear the uniform in its entirety. The uniform must specifically identify the employer. It may consist of only one garment of clothing eg a blue shirt with the company logo that is permanently attached. There may be interrelated items including stockings and footwear.
Non-compulsory uniform or wardrobe – Many employees such as banks have a wardrobe specifically designed for their employees. It is not always compulsory and is often conventional in nature. It consists of a collection of interrelated clothing and accessories that are unique and distinctive to a particular organization. It does not include shoes, socks or stockings but may include scarves and ties etc. The Approved Occupational Clothing Guidelines do not allow for the registration of a single item of clothing eg a shirt; a dress would be allowed, as it is a full body garment. To be deductible a non-compulsory uniform or wardrobe needs to be listed on a register maintained by the Textile Clothing and Footwear Branch of the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism.
Occupation specific – specifically identifies a worker to a particular occupation, eg traditional clothing of nurses, police officers, security guards, defence force personnel, chefs checked pants and clerics robes. Must not be conventional clothing. It does not include stockings, socks or underwear.
Protective clothing – clothing that protects the wearer from the risk of personal injury, death, disease and damage to other clothing in performing their duties. It must be worn in addition to other conventional work clothing. Heavy-duty clothing such as jeans, drill trousers and drill shirts (King Gee or Yakka work wear) are not considered protective clothing. The ATO views that these are being worn as conventional clothing.
Maintenance of protective clothing and uniforms – costs of maintaining, cleaning and hiring these items are deductible if the clothing itself is allowable. This would include dry cleaning, washing, repairs and alterations.
Refer to ATO info on work-related clothing, laundry & dry cleaning expenses