Can You Write Off Work Clothes as a Business Expense?
It is important to be mindful of the kinds of expenses that can be deducted on your taxes, regardless of where your business income is coming from. In general, business owners can write off the costs associated with any purchases made to create a profit – including work clothes. Whether you can write off work clothes as a business expense is dependent on a few factors, so it’s important to be aware of these before you make purchases.
Purpose of Clothing
The purpose of the clothing must be for a business purpose in order for it to be written off as a business expense. This means the clothing must be required for work, either for safety reasons, like steel-toed boots, or for plan reasons, like a uniform. Even if clothing is worn daily, if it can also be used for non-business purposes, a write-off will not be allowed.
Types of Clothing
The IRS does not place different regulations on the write-off for various types of clothing. Professional business suits, uniforms, long pants and boots all fall under the same category.
Recurring business expenses, like new clothing to replace worn-out items, can be deducted in the year that they were purchased. This includes costs of dry-cleaning or alterations that are necessary to maintain the purpose of the clothing.
If a business requires employees to wear uniforms, the cost of uniforms is 100% deductible. This includes the cost of purchasing or renting the uniforms, any alterations required and the cost of logos and lettering added to the uniform. It is essential that these uniforms are not suitable for everyday use outside of work.
Any purchases of clothing that are ordinary, everyday items cannot be written off as a business expense. This means that items that are suitable for both business and personal events, like shirt and pants, can not be counted as a business expense.
When it comes to the write-off for work clothes, here are some essential factors to consider:
- Purpose of Clothing: The clothing must be required for work in order to be eligible.
- Types of Clothing: Professional business suites, uniforms, and long pants and boots fall under the same category.
- Recurring Costs: Recurring expenses related to clothing can be deducted in the year they were purchased.
- Uniforms: The cost of uniforms is 100% tax-deductible.
- Ineligible Purchases: Any purchases of clothing suitable for everyday use can not be counted as a business expense.
By being aware of what is allowable and what is not, you can confidently deduct the cost of any work clothes that are essential for your business operations.