Are scrubs tax deductible in Australia?

As a nurse or healthcare professional you can claim the cost of your uniform that is specific to your profession. This includes items that you are required to wear that have your employer's logo permanently affixed (e.g embroidered). A compulsory uniform that identifies you as an employee of the organisation, occupation specific clothing.  

Occupation specific clothing are items that distinctly identify you as a person associated to an occupation. This type of clothing is not every day items and allows the public to easily recognise your occupation. You cannot claim the cost of uniforms that are not specific to your occupation.  

There are a number of uniform items that can be claimed as a tax deduction as they are protective or safety items or clothing. These include: 

  • Non-slip nursing shoes 
  • Safety items such as glasses, gloves, aprons and lab coats 
  • Nursing scrubs

Compulsory work uniforms are eligible for a tax deduction because it is a set of uniform that identifies you as an employee of an organisation. Your employer must made it compulsory to wear the uniform. This type of clothing is unique and has the employer's logos permanently affixed.  

For more information, please review the ATO website here. 

The ATO has also created a handy guide specifically for nurses and midwives, to download it click here. 

Conventional clothing items are not tax deductible, even if your employer requires that you wear specific items.  

Remember you can claim the cost of repairing and cleaning your work-related clothing or uniform. For laundry tax deductions under $150 no written documentation is required. However, if you are claiming dry cleaning or clothing repairs expenses then you will have to keep the receipts.  

For work related tools you can claim a tax deduction for equipment that cost less than $300 each. However, for items worth more than $300 depreciation must be calculated.  

Items to that may be eligible for a tax deduction include: 

  • Fob watches 
  • Medical tools 
  • Electronic equipment such as phones and computers 
  • Stationary items  
  • Nursing Scrubs

Additional expenses may be eligible for a tax deduction, so speak with your accountant to see if these are applicable to your situation. 

  • Registration fees 
  • Agency commission fees 
  • Subscriptions to professional journals or magazines 
  • Conferences and seminar fees 
  • Reference books/cards 
  • Tax agent fees 
  • Union or nursing association fees 
  • Overtime meals 
  • Training and self-education fees 
  • Books and diaries 

Keep track of your expenses and any purchases throughout the financial year. This blog should only be used as a guide and should not replace professional accounting and/or tax advice. Contact your local accountant and ideally find someone who has experience with registered nurses or healthcare professionals.  Buy the best nursing uniforms and scrubs from Infectious.

November 17, 2021 — Pete Doran