The Shirt Off Your Back

Deduct the Shirt off Your Back??

No, we are not talking about those well-used suits and ties you give to the Salvation Army, but no matter where you work you need to have the proper clean attire! Here’s how you can legally write off your clothing and laundry expenses!

Estimated tax tip savings: The cost and maintenance of your work clothes can be a valid tax write-off. Suppose your qualifying clothes cost $500 and dry cleaning costs you an additional $200 a year. You can deduct the entire $700 expense.

But there’s a catch, you can only deduct the cost of the laundry service if you deduct the cost of the attire first.

The IRS does not allow you to deduct the cost of business attire unless the employer requires it and you cannot use it for personal reasons.

Here are some examples of clothing that would fall under this deduction:

  • Law enforcement
  • Transportation workers
  • Letter carriers
  • Clothing with a business logo
  • Uniforms, such as scrubs
  • Protective gear or equipment required by your job

It is a good idea to keep records of clothing maintenance and cost and avoid mingling work and personal attire expenses. To take advantage of this write off consider purchasing clothes that qualify for this deduction — the laundry costs alone could make the strategy worthwhile (and save wear and tear on your non-work clothes).

This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.