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How to Deduct Your Work Attire (Arbeitskleidung)

There are industries in which certain clothing is needed.

It is well known that taste is a matter of debate. In some industries, however, a certain wardrobe has become the norm. In the banking sector, you will only find women in trouser suits and for men of fashion, shirts with ties are a good thing.

But there are also industries in which certain clothing is needed simply for practical reasons. For example, shoes with steel toes have become indispensable on construction sites. Working clothes also cost a lot of money. Naturally, the question arises as to the extent to which the state contributes to the costs.

Deducting work clothes from your tax

Expenses for typical workwear and workwear are tax-deductible and are stated as income-related expenses (Werbungskosten) in the tax return. The basic prerequisite, however, is that the clothing is used almost exclusively for work-related purposes.

However, not only costs for the purchase are tax-deductible, but also cleaning costs. Those who also record these expenses in their income tax returns can get a lot of money back from the state.

What exactly is recognized as workwear?

In principle, the tax office recognizes protective clothing without further ado. In addition, there are no problems with the recognition of clothing that is necessary for the completion of a job.

These include, for example

  • Uniforms
  • Coats and smocks in health and nursing professions
  • Official clothing (public prosecutor etc.)
  • Chimney sweep clothes

The administration decides

In fact, acquisition costs for “civic clothing”, such as a suit, cannot be deducted from tax. These are included in the cost of living and therefore do not fall into the category of income-related expenses (Werbungskosten).

However, there are also exceptions where the tax official has to decide on a case-by-case basis. If, for example, there is a high degree of work-related wear and tear on clothing, the costs can still be recognized.

In these cases, the deduction is usually permitted

  • Clothing for the police profession
  • Suit of a waiter
  • Mortician’s suit
  • Clothing for airlines
  • Clothing for participation in professional sports

Arbeitskleidung in der Steuererklärung angeben

Set costs for cleaning and repairs

In addition to pure acquisition costs, expenses for cleaning and maintenance can also be claimed for tax purposes. Costs of up to 110 Euro per calendar year are normally accepted without any problems.

Thus, the expenses are calculated per kilogram of laundry:

  • Cooking/Kitchen laundry - 50 Cent
  • Coloureds - 48 Cent
  • Delicates - 60 Cent
  • 34 Cent for dryer

Note: Up to the limit of 110 Euro, no vouchers are required. This value consists of all expenses for the purchase and maintenance of work clothing and equipment.