can you write off clothing for work

can you write off clothing for work

Can You Write Off Clothing For Work?

Many people want to know if they can write off clothing when Deducting work expenses? The short answer is sometimes yes, but you must always remember to save your receipts and follow the rules of the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What Clothing Is Deductible?

When determining what clothing you can deduct on work related expenses, the guidelines fall into two categories. The first is necessary clothing, such as a shirt or dress suit, and the second is protective clothing.

Necessary Clothing

Necessary clothing is defined as clothing that is distinct to a certain type of job and is not normally worn in a social setting. Things like chef’s uniforms, law enforcement uniforms, and other specialized clothing can be deducted from taxes.

Protective Clothing

Protective clothing is mostly worn by workers in a hazardous environment, such as factory and industrial workers, firefighters, and paramedics. The types of things that can be deducted include uniforms, protective eye wear, and other safety gear such as hard hats and steel-toed boots.

Other Considerations

When deducting clothing expenses there are other things to take into consideration. You must make sure that the clothing or uniform is only used for your job and not for personal or social events. Additionally, the clothing or uniform cannot be used for more than one job.

Additionally, the IRS does not allow you to deduct everyday clothing that you buy for work, such as shirts and slacks.

Can I Write Off Clothing I Already Owned?

Yes, in some cases you can deduct clothing that you already own. This is especially true for uniforms and other necessary clothing. For example, if you already owned a chef’s uniform and then got a job at a restaurant, you can deduct the cost of the uniform.

The rule is that, if the clothing was used exclusively and only for work, you can write it off.


While you can sometimes write off work related clothing on your taxes, it is important to remember the rules of the IRS when doing so. The most important thing is to make sure that the clothing is used exclusively for work and not for any other purpose. Keep all applicable receipts and make sure to document any item you wish to deduct.

Recent Posts

Follow Us