Are work uniforms a tax deductible item? For certain workplaces, the expected work uniform is a suit and tie. For others, it is a uniform representing the company they work for. And then there are the times in which the “work uniform” is made up of clothes from the store they come from. If you are an employee, consult your employer’s dress code policy. If you are an employer, you should outline this point in your policy as well.
Office workers can’t claim the cost of buying or cleaning the clothes they need to wear to work. However, this caveat generally applies to clothes that aren’t specific to a particular career. Black pants, white shirts, and suits worn by bartenders count under this caveat. If you work for a retail clothing store, you can’t claim the clothes you have to buy there, even if you must wear them to work.
Jeans, shirts, socks, and shoes are all items that can’t be claimed either. In order to be claimable, these items need to be proven that they provide adequate protection for what you do.
If there is a strict dress code policy demanding the use of work uniforms, then these items are claimable. If shoes, socks, and stockings are required parts of this uniform, then they can all be claimed as well. When it comes to a non-required dress code, however, special circumstances apply. If an article of clothing is considered unique enough to be especially identifiable as belonging to your organization, then it can be claimed. However, these clothes must bear the logo of the company and can’t be widely available for general sale.
Dry cleaning and other maintenance procedures are claimable tax deductions. If your work uniforms need to be washed, dried, ironed, or dry-cleaned, then this scenario is possible. Make sure you keep written documentation of your personal expenses. If you claim more than $150 for cleaning clothes or work uniforms, then that means they are claimable items. Likewise, your claim for work-related expenses in total must be over $300. But when you calculate work-related expenses, keep in mind that travel costs related to work are not claimable.
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