Tax Deductions and Work Attire

When it comes to trying to figure out what you can claim as a deduction on your taxes, work attire can be a confusing topic. Many wonder whether the expensive attire required by their place of work’s dress code can be written off. However, just because you personally don’t wear your expensive suit outside of your office, it does not mean you can write it off.

Work attire expenses can usually be written off if they meet the following two requirements:

  1. They are worn as a condition of your employment.
  2. They are not suitable for everyday wear.

The second requirement is usually the one that seems to cause confusion among taxpayers. Since the clothing must not be suitable for everyday wear in order to be written off, usually normal business wear does not meet this second requirement. It is not enough to simply say you don’t wear a specific suit jacket away from your workplace. A suit jacket, for example, would still be categorized as suitable everyday wear.

If your workplace requires you to wear protective goggles or other safety gear, however, these wouldn’t be considered suitable as everyday wear and can usually be written off. A theatrical costume is another example of something the IRS has accepted as a deduction.

It’s important to keep both of these requirements in mind when determining what does and does not qualify as an accepted deduction.