Mary is a primary school teacher at a local private school. During the 2016/17 tax year, she bought a
new blouse and skirt which she wears exclusively for teaching at school. Mary also incurred dry-cleaning
costs for these clothes.
Can Mary claim deduction for these costs?
Mary generally could not deduct the costs for the blouse and skirt nor the dry-cleaning expenses unless
one of the three exemptions applies.
Mary could, however, claim the total amount of work expenses incurred in the income year that is $300
or less, where no written evidence is required.
Expenditure on clothing and maintenance of that clothing is generally treated as private and is
therefore, not deductible. There are three exemptions to this rule, where the cost of clothing may be
• clothing is ‘necessary and peculiar’ to the taxpayer’s occupation, such as a uniform
• clothing is conventional, but because of the occupation of the taxpayer, extra expense is incurred.
Examples where a deduction would be allowed is clothing a professional actor buys to perform a role.
• non-compulsory uniforms with a registered design.