Can I deduct dry cleaning expenses for my business suits?

December 17, 2014 by Dave Du Val, EA
Dress Shirts

Hey Dave,

I use suits for my work, and the expense for dry cleaning them is substantial. I don't use suits in my life outside of work. Can I deduct the dry cleaning cost as a business expense?

Tim

 

Tim,

Sorry to say, but, no, you are not allowed to claim these clothing expenses as business expenses. The IRS has a two prong test that you are required to pass in order to deduct the cost of work clothing as an employee business expense. The first condition is that the wearing of the clothing must be a condition of your employment, and the second is that the clothes cannot be suitable for everyday wear. So, even if you choose not to wear the suits off the job, they are still considered suitable for everyday wear and therefore not deductible on your return. This rule also applies to the cost of upkeep of the clothing, which in your case is the dry cleaning costs. If the clothing is deductible, so is the cost of the upkeep, and, if it’s not, then neither is the cost of the upkeep.

Deductibly Yours,

Dave
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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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