Can You Write Off Clothing as a Business Expense?
Most likely you’ve heard the joke about how expensive it is to look good by buying name brand clothing. But when it comes to a business, is that a legitimate expense that you can write off? The short answer is yes, you can write off some clothing expenses as business deductions.
Types of Clothing-Related Expenses
Here are the types of expenses related to clothing that may be tax deductible:
- Uniforms: If uniforms are required by your employer and they can’t be worn as everyday clothing, they qualify.
- Dry cleaning: Clothes that you wear as a uniform can be dry-cleaned, and the cost is deductible.
- Safety Equipment: Special gear such as safety glasses and steel-toed boots qualify if they are legally necessary.
- Reimbursed Business Clothing: If you purchase specific clothing for work and get reimbursed, that may qualify.
Items Not Deductible
The IRS is very specific about items that are not deductible for clothing-related expenses, including:
- Suit or dress for interviews: You may need to buy a suit for an interview, but this is not a tax-deductible expense.
- Costumes: Costumes for examples for public relations events may not be written off.
- Personal Clothing: Unless you are reimbursed, any clothing you buy for yourself is not deductible.
Organizing Your Clothing-Related Records
If you want to take advantage of the deductions available for clothing-related expenses, then you will need to properly document your purchases. Some tips for keeping accurate records include:
- Keep clear records of all expenses
- Make sure you can tie the clothing to a specific job
- Document any reimbursements you receive for clothing you purchase for work
- Save all receipts for everything you purchase
By following the guidelines above, you can make sure that you are taking advantage of all the clothing related business deductions you are entitled to.