I need to look good in business meetings. May I deduct my salon tab?

July 22, 2015 by Dave Du Val, EA
Woman

Hey Dave,

I do PR in the Bay Area. My hairstylist says I can deduct my entire salon bill on my taxes because it helps me look good at business meetings and events. Is this correct?

Juanita

 

Juanita,

I have never attended beauty school and, if I provided you with free beauty tips, I would hope you would not take me or my advice seriously. For the same reason, I highly recommend that you refrain from listening to any tax advice you receive from well-meaning friends and other people you know and meet, including your hair stylist. And now for the answer to your question…

Unfortunately, the IRS does not allow a deduction for payments made for keeping up your appearance, such as hair-styling and nail maintenance, as these costs are considered to be personal grooming expenses. Even if an employer requires an employee to keep their hair short or cut in a certain way, the cost of the haircut is still considered to be a nondeductible personal expense, or so has said the Tax Court in numerous instances in which the IRS was challenged on this point.

There is quite a bit of misinformation out there about what you can deduct. Any tax advice that seems too good to be true is probably just that. As a general practice, always verify any advice you receive about what you can deduct before acting on it, even if it does happen to be a tax practitioner.

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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