Did you know you may be able to deduct the cost of your work clothes and uniforms when filing your income taxes? This article discusses how to do this and what measures you need to take.
The cost of your work clothes and uniforms may be deducted from your annual income tax bill. Not being a tax expert or an accountant I cannot say for sure that you can take this deduction. It is always best to check with your tax preparer concerning your state tax laws and rules. However, there are certain things you can do to assure the tax deductions if applicable in your state.
First and foremost you must obtain and retain all receipts for your work clothes and uniforms. Your receipt should state the description of the product, the company name who sold you the uniforms, the date of sale and the amount paid for the work clothes. Keep these sales receipts in a safe place for future proof of the purchase. You will not be asked to produce this receipt unless the state or the Internal Revenue Service performs an audit.
Be cautious about where you buy your work clothes and uniforms. All retail stores will supply a receipt at time of purchase. Be careful when buying at an online web site. Most web site companies will automatically email you a receipt upon purchase. However sometimes the electronic communication breaks down and the receipt is not transmitted or you entered the incorrect email address at checkout. For these reasons you should never buy from a web site that does not provide a phone number which is easily to find on the web site. This way you can call and request your receipt.
If you happen to change jobs and you no longer require the work clothes or uniforms you deducted it is a good practice to attach a copy of your pay stub to your uniform receipt. This will prove to the tax man that you were employed in a place that the said deducted work clothes were required. This will justify the deduction at that particular time.
Here are a few words of caution concerning your tax deductions for your work clothes and uniforms. Do not try to deduct if your employer provide you with a uniform budget included in your paycheck or you obtain reimbursement from your employer for work clothes or uniforms. Also, dont try to deduct your work clothes or uniforms if your employer does not require you to wear them at your place of work. Either of these is considered tax fraud and is illegal.
The tax code is very complicated and varies from state to state. Always check with your tax preparer or accountant before deducting your work clothes or uniforms from your income taxes.