Subsidy work clothes | The case

Workwear criteria

Clothing that is expressly required for the exercise of the profession counts as work clothing and can therefore be reimbursed tax-free. White doctor’s coats, chef’s apron, special footwear with steel toes and safety helmets e.g.
Clothing is only considered workwear if it is only suitable for use at work. A tailored suit does not count, because it can also be worn privately on a nice occasion. According to this principle, the football coach’s sports shoes do not count as work clothes. After all, he can also handle them in his spare time. Work clothing definitely counts as work clothing if it is provided with one or more clearly visible logos associated with the company with a (seam) surface of at least 70 centimeters.

Clothes in the workplace

Clothing that is only used in the workplace can also be made available tax-free. The clothes must be left at the workplace at the end of the working day to be entitled to this. Please note: Staff are not meant to wear the clothes on the way home, change and take them back the next day, as players on a football team did with their official costumes. The staff are also not allowed to wash their clothes at home, this is a task for the employer. The tax authorities may ask for proof that the clothing does not leave the workplace. For example, consider a section in the staff manual or a signed statement from each employee. Read more about this in: The personnel guidance: you put that in »

Clothing as a health and safety measure

Certain clothing, which is not considered work clothing, can be made freely available according to the Working Conditions Act. The five criteria that must be met are:

  • the employer must have an occupational health and safety plan;
  • supply of clothing is a reasonable part of this, partly due to the characteristics of the clothing;
  • the clothing is worn mainly during working hours;
  • the employee does not have to pay a personal contribution;
  • there is no significant private saving for the employee. The private saving is less than €454.

Clothing as a product from our own company

Under certain circumstances, you can partially reimburse or supply your staff with clothing from your own company that you produce yourself. The criteria are:

  • it is not a product that is foreign to the sector. The clothing you provide your staff matches the line of clothing you produce. So if you only produce T-shirts, you can’t donate sneakers;
  • the product comes from the company’s own company or from a company associated with the employer;
  • the discount amounts to a maximum of 20% of the economic value of the purchased products with a maximum of €475 per calendar year.

Uniform clothes

Uniform clothing can also be freely refunded. It concerns clothing worn by (a certain category of) employees and which is associated by a third party with a company or profession. When assessing whether clothing counts as a uniform, it is mainly about the clothing’s recognizability in relation to the employment relationship.

To clarify:

  • Clothes in exuberant company colors will soon fall under the term work clothes.
  • Clothes that are also worn privately are not included. Think the gym teacher’s sneakers or the priest’s black suit.
  • Extra robust clothing that can also be worn outside the company is not considered work clothing.
  • Clothing that closely resembles clothing found in regular stores, such as sweaters and body warmers, will not easily be classified as workwear. As soon as there is insufficient recognition of the clothing in relation to the employment, the clothing does not belong to work clothing.
  • Clothing with distinctive elements or company logos is considered work clothing. Even if there is not a common surface area of ​​at least 70 square centimeters. The association of the clothing with the employee’s occupation then occurs earlier than would have been the case without the logo.

Good to know

  • If you give your staff a gift of clothing that is not to be used during work, this gift is taxed. Even if there is a seventy square centimeter company logo on it. The point is that the garment can qualify as workwear, which is not the case in this case.
  • Fees for maintenance and cleaning of work clothes are not taxed.

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