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Is business dress clothing tax deductible?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Any tax lawyers out there? I've purchased 3 suits and 3 pairs of shoes for a new job. Any chance I'm lucky enough that these expenses are considered tax deductible business expenses?
post #2 of 23
I think they allow you an itemized deduction for expenses for work uniforms. Work uniforms are clothes that you wear on the job only that are not suitable for everyday use. I would argue that suits are wearable even when you're not on the job; it's not like you're walking around in a fast food restaurant uniform. So I don't think so.
post #3 of 23
...and while you are in front of the IRS auditor and he looks up at you with a perplexed and puzzled / troubled expression on his face says "I see here you purchased 3 "˜Ke-TON' suits for a total of $13,500..." Jon. P.S. Did I mention that I am not a tax attorney?
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Any chance I'm lucky enough that these expenses are considered tax deductible business expenses?
I wish. If Congress ever made it so, I can imagine participation on this forum would drop as everybody would be to busy shopping.
post #5 of 23
Sorry, generally not.  While I cannot give legal or tax advice over the internet, I can tell you that the IRS view is that: Work Clothes and Uniforms You can deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if the following two requirements are met. You must wear them as a condition of your employment. The clothes are not suitable for everyday wear. It is not enough that you wear distinctive clothing. The clothing must be specifically required by your employer. Nor is it enough that you do not, in fact, wear your work clothes away from work. The clothing must not be suitable for taking the place of your regular clothing. Examples of workers who may be able to deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes are: delivery workers, firefighters, health care workers, law enforcement officers, letter carriers, professional athletes, and transportation workers (air, rail, bus, etc.). Musicians and entertainers can deduct the cost of theatrical clothing and accessories that are not suitable for everyday wear. However, work clothing consisting of white cap, white shirt or white jacket, white bib overalls, and standard work shoes, which a painter is required by his union to wear on the job, is not distinctive in character or in the nature of a uniform. Similarly, the costs of buying and maintaining blue work clothes worn by a welder at the request of a foreman are not deductible. Protective clothing.   You can deduct the cost of protective clothing required in your work, such as safety shoes or boots, safety glasses, hard hats, and work gloves. Examples of workers who may be required to wear safety items are: carpenters, cement workers, chemical workers, electricians, fishing boat crew members, machinists, oil field workers, pipe fitters, steamfitters, and truck drivers. See [i]]http://www.irs.gov/publications/p529/ar02.html#d0e253[b][i]
post #6 of 23
"You may be able to deduct the following items as unreimbursed employee expenses: Work clothes and uniforms if required and not suitable for everyday use." My question is this: What if you contracted with your employer that as a condition of your employment you could not wear your designated work clothes outside of the office? I guess this all hinges on what the word "suitable" means.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
"You may be able to deduct the following items as unreimbursed employee expenses: Work clothes and uniforms if required and not suitable for everyday use." My question is this: What if you contracted with your employer that as a condition of your employment you could not wear your designated work clothes outside of the office? I guess this all hinges on what the word "suitable" means.
I am told that the IRS takes a dim view of collusive efforts to evade taxes. Probably better off donating that Kiton SB to charity and taking the deduction for that.
post #8 of 23
hey mark, not to hijack this thread, but you sound like a tax person: what about the SUV tax deduction form last year? i hear it hasn't been changed, therefore those who file a schedule c can take advantage this year. if the IRS does make a change: 1. what month do they usually do that? 2. do they grandfather in, i.e. someone buys a tahoe in may and they change the law in sept, can you still take the deduction since you bought it at a time when the law was still in effect i know it's in irs.gov, but i can't find anything specific and if i can i'd like to start looking for something and also look for someone to buy my tahoe i have now thx
post #9 of 23
There is actually a pretty well-known tax case about a woman who worked in a high-end boutique who deducted the cost of her clothes. Obviously, as part of her job she was required to wear the clothes carried by the boutique. If I remember correctly, her deduction was not permitted.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
hey mark, not to hijack this thread, but you sound like a tax person: what about the SUV tax deduction form last year?  i hear it hasn't been changed, therefore those who file a schedule c can take advantage this year.  if the IRS does make a change: 1. what month do they usually do that? 2. do they grandfather in, i.e. someone buys a tahoe in may and they change the law in sept, can you still take the deduction since you bought it at a time when the law was still in effect i know it's in irs.gov, but i can't find anything specific and if i can i'd like to start looking for something and also look for someone to buy my tahoe i have now thx
Sorry, not a tax lawyer. I just happen to be fairly familiar with business deductions.
post #11 of 23
You are right about the boutique case -- I actually looked this very subject up one time. The contract provision I hypothesized is not per se a sham. There is a legitimate business purpose for an employer only allowing a worker to wear a particular item of business clothing to work. It prevents the item from prematurely aging or becoming filthy.
post #12 of 23
*deleted*
post #13 of 23
Quote:
There is actually a pretty well-known tax case about a woman who worked in a high-end boutique who deducted the cost of her clothes. Obviously, as part of her job she was required to wear the clothes carried by the boutique. If I remember correctly, her deduction was not permitted.
I just PMed the starter of this thread the rundown of this case. It was actually Yves St. Laurent -- a woman who worked in their retail store tried to take the deduction, arguing that she would never wear YSL clothes outside of work because she found them "pretentious." She lost.
post #14 of 23
Many years ago there was a short lived scam that allowed you to lease your suits. The IRS Shut this one down quickly.
post #15 of 23
How about starting a clothing "business" -- an EBay "business" perhaps -- in which you have to buy clothes to re-sell on EBay, etc. Those business expenses could arguably be tax deductible; who's to know if you happen to wear some of the clothes while waiting for someone to buy them in an EBay auction. As long as you can show an actual profit motive and records of a decent number of sales, it at least wouldn't look too outlandishly fishy from the perspective of an IRS auditor. {Just a wild thought.}
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