Friday, April 1, 2011

Deducting the cost of Work Clothes and Uniforms

Qualified uniform expenses are the cost and upkeep of uniforms and certain articles that are:
  • Specifically required as a condition of employment, and
  • Not adaptable to general use as regular clothing
The deduction is also allowed for "Uniforms required by your employer that are not suitable for ordinary wear" as well as "protective clothing required in your work."

This includes protective clothing such as safety shoes, boots, safety glasses, hard hats, and work gloves. Taxpayers should look into this deduction if their occupation is a carpenter, cement worker, chemical worker, electrician, fishing boat crew member, machinist, oil field worker, pipe fitter, steamfitter, or truck driver.

No deduction is allowed for an ordinary looking shirt, suit, overalls, wristwatch, etc., required by an employer. It has to be specifically made for use at work. If it can double as regular clothing, then it has a personal use to it and is generally non deductible.

To take advantage of the deduction, report the total on Schedule A, line 21. For additional information, review IRS Publication 529.

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