1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Is business dress clothing tax deductible?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ballines, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. ballines

    ballines Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    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?
     
  2. Alias

    Alias Senior member

    Messages:
    1,536
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    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.
     
  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    ...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..." [​IMG] Jon. P.S. Did I mention that I am not a tax attorney?
     
  4. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    I wish.

    If Congress ever made it so, I can imagine participation on this forum would drop as everybody would be to busy shopping.
     
  5. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Sorry, generally not. Â 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. Â 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 ]http://www.irs.gov/publications/p529/ar02.html#d0e253
     
  6. BGW

    BGW Senior member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    "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.
     
  7. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    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.
     
  8. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    1,805
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    7,908 Feet, Colorado
    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
     
  9. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

    Messages:
    12,263
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Reagan Country (Massachusetts)
    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.
     
  10. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Sorry, not a tax lawyer. I just happen to be fairly familiar with business deductions.
     
  11. BGW

    BGW Senior member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    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.
     
  12. FzyLgic

    FzyLgic Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
  13. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    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.
     
  14. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    3,336
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    Many years ago there was a short lived scam that allowed you to lease your suits. The IRS Shut this one down quickly.
     
  15. kabert

    kabert Senior member

    Messages:
    2,093
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    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.}
     
  16. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Well, thank you very much for giving away my little scheme. Now, I have to come up with something fresh.
     
  17. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

    Messages:
    725
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    I've been told that employees at high-end boutiques often get huge discounts on merchandise, and even get some stuff free.
    One thing which is probably a legitimate tax deduction: the cost of having work clothing cleaned.
     
  18. kabert

    kabert Senior member

    Messages:
    2,093
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Employee discounts are one thing; free clothes = taxable compensation (except for a free article of clothing or two that is akin to getting an inexpensive gift of a turkey or ham at Christmas from one's boss). Now, how traceable are the free clothes on the company's books? Not very I suspect in most cases.
     
  19. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    This is a good thought, but it is actually incorrect, and indeed largely irrelevant.  Technically, if you are an Ebay seller you should be reporting your earnings as income.  You would deduct from your earnings the cost of goods sold.  The cost of goods sold is not an operating expense -- you only deduct the cost of goods sold when you actually sell the goods.  That then leads to how to do the deductions, which is explained below.

    Let's say you bought a suit for $100, and then sold it for $150.  You would report $50 of income to the IRS (150 minus 100).  This is the case regardless of if you previously wore the suit.  This does, however, show an anomoly in the tax code -- since you don't depreciate goods used for personal use, you actually end up with a windfall by depleting goods purchased for personal use and then selling them.  The reason is simple.  Let's say you wear out half the life of the suit when you wear it for personal reasons.  Theoretically, the suit is now worth $50.  Thus, in a perfect tax world, you should only be deducting $50 from the cost of goods sold, leading you to report income to the IRS of $100 (if indeed you can still sell the item for $150).  But, because of the IRS anamoly, you don't do that.  You still deduct $100 as the cost of goods sold.
     
  20. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    You've found out the IRS's little secret -- fringe benefits are impossible to track, regardless of whether they are deductible or not.

    Oh, and Banksmiranda, cleaning work clothes might be deductible, but you would have to prorate it. In other words, if you spend $12 on dry cleaning, but wore the work suit for personal reasons for 50% of the wearings, you could only deduct $6.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by