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Can You Deduct Work Uniforms From Your Business Taxes?

If you own a small business, you may provide uniforms for your employees. You may even wear one yourself. These uniforms may be integral to the operation of your business or they may simply enhance your customers' experience and your employees' sense of cohesion and focus. Whatever the purpose of your work uniforms is, you likely view them as a business expense. But just because you view them as a business expense does not necessarily mean that you may deduct their cost from your business taxes.

It is imperative that you educate yourself about what business expenses may be deducted on your employment tax records and what expenses may not be deducted. If you fail to deduct legitimate and recognized expenses, you may lose out on valuable tax benefits. If you deduct expenses from your taxes incorrectly, you may be held liable for that mistake in the event of an audit.

An attorney experienced in tax law should be able to advise you about your business taxes and your unique expense deduction situation. Generally however, work uniforms may be deducted as a legitimate business expense if you require that your employees wear them and if they are generally unsuitable for wear in everyday situations outside of work.

For example, the Internal Revenue Service generally recognizes protective gear as unsuitable for everyday wear. It also acknowledges that if your company logo or name is on your employees’ uniforms that they will not generally wear them during everyday activities. But these are just rules of thumb. If you have questions, please contact an attorney for more nuanced information.

Source: Findlaw Free Enterprise, “Are Work Clothes, Uniforms Tax-Deductible Business Expenses?” Brett Snider, July 23, 2014

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