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Determining if your uniforms or work clothes are tax deductible depends on a few factors. Whether you wear a blazer, scrubs, or an embroidered polo, just follow these four steps to claim a tax rebate for your uniforms.
You can claim a tax deduction on your uniforms if your employer requires you to wear them every day AND they are not suitable to wear outside of work.
THE FOUR STEPS
Step 1: Determine if your work clothes are necessary and usable only for work
If your clothes are suitable to wear outside of work (for example, a suit that can be worn in the office or to other occasions that don’t relate to work), then they do not qualify. Common items that will not qualify include overalls and white dress shirts. Make sure your work clothes can’t double as street clothes or evening clothes.
If your clothes are not suitable for everyday wear and they are required by your employer, then they may qualify. For instance, a polo that is embroidered with your company logo would not be suitable to wear outside of work.
Step 2: Make note of your employer’s policies
Keep a copy of your employer’s uniform policy and requirements. You may be required to present written proof if the IRS ever questions your deductions.
Step 3: Save receipts
Receipts will provide proof of the money you spent if the IRS asks any questions. Remember to also save any receipts related to the maintenance of your work clothes -- this can include dry cleaning, shoe-shining, and tailoring. These maintenance costs are deductible as well.
Step 4: Claim the deduction
You will include your clothing costs with “miscellaneous itemized deductions” on Schedule A. Work clothes are only deductible to the extent the total exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.