Occupation Specific Tax Deductions

The Occupational Rulings Guide 2017 provides information on occupational specific tax deductions. You can claim some deductions if the expense was occurred by yourself. If the item was supplied by an employer or any other person you are unable to claim the expense.

Clothing expenses

You can claim a deduction for the cost of buying, hiring, repairing and cleaning certain work-relates uniforms or protective clothing.

Compulsory Uniforms

A compulsory uniform identifies you as an employee of an organisation, ie. has a logo or specific uniform, like military, and the uniform must be worn while at the workplace.

Distinctive clothing may also be claimed, like a shirt or hat that has an employee logo and is  not generally available to the public.

Non Compulsory Clothing and Corporate Wear

Non compulsory clothing may be claimed if it is a registered piece of clothing.

If you wear a corporate uniform that is registered, you are unable to claim for stockings, socks or shoes.

Protective Clothing

The deductibility of protective items taxation ruling is specific on what protective clothing can be claimed

Protective clothing can be claimed if it is worn to protect yourself from risk or harm. If the protective items (such as hats, clothing and sunglasses) are used more or less continuously in the course of income producing activities and they are often subject to harsh weather and often need replacing and you use these items in the course of gaining income they are treated as claimable expenditure.

If the protective clothing is a once off purchase, such as an x-ray technicians lead apron, it is deemed as capital expenditure and can be depreciated.

Clothing bought specifically for working in that protects your regular clothes, such as overalls may also be a taxable deduction.

Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Any clothing able to be a tax deduction can also have laundry and dry cleaning costs deducted.  If your laundry expenses claim is less than $150 you do not need written evidence but you must have a reasonable basis to work out the claim.

Occupation Specific Claims

Many occupational specific claims have rules around what is an expense and what can be capitalised, including low value pools. The thresholds can vary from occupation to occupation. The following lists are general and thresholds do need to be verified, furthermore the type of employee may vary as to the extent of the claim, eg. Airline Pilots may claim seeing glasses or contact lenses with anti glare.

Airline employees Cleaners
Cash or bar shotages protective sunglasses
Glasses and contact lenses Insurance of tools and equipment
Insurance of tools and equipment Interest costs
Licences and medical examinations for renewal Protective equipment
Moisturises and hair conditioners. technical and professional publications
Stationary telephone calls
Sunglasses, sunhats and sunscreens union and professional fees
Union and professional fees
Hairdressers Hospitality industry
Clothing expenses Meal expenses
Self-education expenses Car expenses
Home office expenses Self-education expenses
Overtime Meal expenses Tools and equipment expenses
Tools and equipment clothing expences
technical and professional publications Gaming licence renewal
union and association fees Hiring equipment
Australian Defence Force members Performing artists
Extra regimental duties (ERD) Agents fees
Fitness Audition expenses
Sunglasses Coaching classes – for example, for acting, singing and dancing
Home office and private study Fitness expenses
Interest costs due to work related loans Glasses and contact lenses
Mess subscriptions Grooming
Repairs private study
Technical or professional publications Photographs
Research expences
Tapes, discs, cassettes and digital media
Theatre and film tickets
Factory Workers Adult industry workers
Licences and certificates Advertising
Overtime meals Clothing- used soley for  earning income including lingerie and costumes
protective clothing and equipment Consumables
repairs of equipment cosmentics and hair care
Union and professional fees dance lessons
vehicle expences
Phone expences
tools and equipment


Taxation is complex and it is always best to seek the advice of a tax agent. I am offering a free 15 minute consultation to assess if I am the right tax agent for you.

Photo by Claudio Hirschberger on Unsplash

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