Can You Deduct Your Clothing as a Uniform?
The question comes up from time-to-time where a client purchases a business suit and asks if they can claim it as a business deduction, citing this is their "uniform." The short answer is No, as you will read below.
No Deduction for Required Employer-brand Clothing:
The taxpayer, a Ralph Lauren salesman, deducted, as an employee business expense, the cost of his employer's brand clothing that he was required to wear while representing the company. The IRS issued a notice of deficiency disallowing the deduction. The Tax Court agreed with the IRS, concluding that because the clothes were suitable for personal wear outside the workplace, the cost to acquire and maintain the clothing was a nondeductible personal expense. The Court reinforced its three-prong test for deductibility that the clothing must: (1) be required or essential in the taxpayer's employment; (2) not be suitable for general or personal wear; and (3) not be worn for personal use. Accuracy-related penalties applied. Terence K. Barnes , TC Memo 2016-79 (Tax Ct.).