For Taxes, Is Business Attire Considered a Fashion Expense or Business Expense?

by | Feb 14, 2019

With all the tax laws it can be difficult to navigate the do’s and don’ts when it comes to business expenses. The Internal Revenue Service allows businesses and individuals to deduct specific types of business attire as a business expense. However, the line for this tax deduction can be a bit tricky. So, let’s break down when you can deduct clothing as a business expense in order to help you keep more money in your pocket and less in Uncle Sam’s.

Uniform and Work Clothes Tax Deductions

Uniforms and work clothes that are required by the employer and that are not appropriate for everyday use such as law enforcement uniforms or polo with the company logo are deductible. Be careful here, as dress codes for work, such as khaki’s, are not distinctive enough to qualify for a business deduction.

Military Uniform Tax Deductions

Military uniforms are deductible only for reservists who are prohibited from wearing the uniform while not on duty. Civilian personnel at military schools may also deduct uniforms.

Protective Clothing Tax Deductions

Protective clothing includes hard hats, gloves, safety boots and clothing manufactured to protect against extreme temperatures and hazardous materials for industries that expose workers to dangers such as construction and chemical plants.

Professional Attire Business Deductions

Business-expense deductions are not allowed for clothing described as professional or business attire, such as business suits or skirts. Note that refusing to wear the clothing in places other than work, even though the clothing is suitable for everyday use, is still not enough to qualify this as a business deduction.

Tax Deductions as a Business Owner

As a business owner, you can write off business clothing only if you provide the clothing to your employees or provide the funds such as a clothing allowance to your employees.

As we can see, there are a number of opportunities in which to put the clothing deduction into play whether you are a business owner or an individual. But, remember there are also a number of stipulations. For more information on whether your specific situation qualifies for a deduction contact us at Also, check out our blog for additional tips in which how we can help you save money on your taxes.

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