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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