Attention Flight Attendants and Airline Employees. Tax time tips.

It’s tax time again and we want to help you get your clothing and laundry claims right.

What you can claim:

  • Clothing, uniforms and footwear you wear at work if it is:  
    • protective
    • occupation specific and not an every-day piece of clothing
    • a compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation with a strictly enforced policy that makes it compulsory for you to wear the uniform while you’re at work
    • a non-compulsory uniform and your employer has registered the design with AusIndustry.
     
  • The cost of washing, drying and ironing any of the above types of clothing, uniforms and footwear whether you use professional services such as a laundromat or drycleaner, or you launder, iron or clean the clothes yourself. If your laundry claim (excluding dry cleaning expenses) is $150 or less, you don’t need to keep records but you will still need to be able to explain how you calculated your claim.

This isn’t an automatic deduction.

Scenario

Erika is a flight attendant with ABC Airlines. ABC Airlines requires flight attendants to purchase their shirts through the airline but they can wear any type of black skirt or trousers. ABC Airlines’ uniform policy sets out that it is compulsory for Erika to wear a particular brand of black leather court shoes with a two-centimetre heel. Erika doesn’t use these shoes outside of work and failure by Erika to comply with the airline’s uniform directive and orders of dress will result in disciplinary action.

Erika can claim the cost of the ABC Airlines shirt and the shoes, but not the black skirt or trousers. The ABC Airlines shirt is a unique and distinctive part of the uniform that she purchased herself. The black skirt or trousers are not unique or distinctive to ABC Airlines even though they are part of the uniform. The black shoes are a compulsory item as no other types of black shoes are permitted.

Erika can also claim laundering, ironing or cleaning of the ABC Airlines shirt only.

Tips

  • Keep your receipts if the amount you claim for laundry expenses is greater than $150 or if your total claim for work-related expenses exceeds $300.
  • If your laundry claim is less than $150, you don’t need receipts, but you need to be able to explain how you calculated your claim. You can do this by using the ATO’s laundry rates (see Tricks) and keeping a record of the number of times you washed your deductible clothing in a week, including if they were washed separately or with other clothing.

Tricks

  • To work out a reasonable cost for laundering if you wash, dry and iron your clothes yourself, use the following to calculate the cost:  
    • $1 per load if you launder your work-related clothing on its own.
    • 50 cents per load if you launder your work-related clothing with other items.
     
  • Use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to track your deductions. You can upload your data to pre-fill your myTax return or email it straight to your registered tax agent. Download the app today at ato.gov.au/app

Don’t fly blind when it comes to your work-related expenses this tax time. We are here to help you.

For more information about what you can claim as work related expenses, download the brochure on the this link

If you need further help on lodging your tax return, we are just a message away.

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