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Personal protective equipment (PPE)
To claim a deduction for personal protective equipment (PPE) you have purchased to use at work, the expense must be incurred by yourself. A deduction cannot be claimed if your employer:
- pays for the items
- provides the items
- reimburses you for the cost you incur.
The PPE must also be used in direct connection to earning your employment income: This means:
- you are exposed to the risk of illness or injury in the course of carrying out your work duties
- in the circumstances there would be reason to expect the use of that kind of protective item
- you use the item in the course of carrying out your work duties.
Depending on the nature of your employment, PPE may include the following items:
- hardhats and helmets
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Face masks or face shields
- Anti-bacterial spray.
Personal protective equipment during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of buying a face mask to wear at work if:
- your employment duties require you and other employees to be at your place of work
- a face mask is not provided to you by your employer, and
- you need to wear a mask because your duties bring you in close contact with clients.
In order to claim a deduction for other items of PPE, such as gloves, sanitiser or anti-bacterial spray, your specific work duties must either:
- require you to have physical contact or be in close proximity to clients or customers while carrying out your duties
- involve you cleaning a premises.
This will usually be people working in the following industries:
- medical industry (such as doctors, nurses, dentists and allied health workers)
- cleaning industry
- airline industry
- hairdressing and beautician industry
- retail, café and restaurant industry.
Ensure you keep all records when purchasing PPE items so that you can claim a deduction.