Can you Expense Clothes for Work?
We’ve all been told to dress appropriately for work, but when it comes to clothes, we may not be sure if those clothes can be expensed. To determine if clothes are an eligible expense, you need to consider two important items:
1. Who is Responsible for Purchasing Clothes?
Depending on the type of job, it could be the employee’s responsibility to obtain clothing. Many professions require certain types of clothing, such as safety uniforms, surgical scrubs, or security uniforms. In these cases, the cost for these garments may be able to be expensed.
2. Is There a Legitimate Business Purpose?
Whether the employee or the business owns the clothing, you must be sure there is a legitimate business purpose for the clothing before it can be expensed. Are the clothes conducive to the job? Examples of clothing that may have a legitimate business purpose are suits that are necessary to look professional when meeting clients or safety vests or shoes needed to work safely.
Types of Clothing that Can be Expensed
In general, professional attire and necessary safety clothing can be expensed. Here are some examples:
- Business suits, ties, and dress shirts: For individuals that work in a professional environment, business attire may be necessary. Prior approval to expense such clothing may be necessary.
- Uniforms: If your job requires a uniform, such as a medical scrub, security uniform, or construction uniform, the cost for the clothing and necessary accessories may be expensed.
- Safety clothing: If you need special safety clothing, such as safety vests, safety shoes, and safety glasses, the cost for the clothing and necessary accessories may be expensed.
It is important to remember that clothing purchased for personal, non-business use cannot be expensed, including most casual clothing. If you’re unsure about an item of clothing, ask your manager or accountant.