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Tax Deductions for Clothing

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Deducting clothing expenses from your income tax can be tricky. Sometimes, it is legal to take a tax deduction for clothing. Tax deductions can reduce your overall tax debt at the end of the year, saving you money. You can legally deduct both purchased clothing and donated clothing.

Deducting Work Clothes

Clothing purchased for work, that you wouldn’t wear outside of work, can be deducted. If your job requires you to wear a uniform, special shoes or protective clothing, you can deduct the expense involved in purchasing these clothes. You can also deduct the cost of dry cleaning if it’s required.

Considerations

You may also deduct the expense of clothing that you’ve donated. You must have the purchase receipt for the clothing and a receipt from the tax-exempt institution receiving the donation. Use IRS publications 561 and 562 to guide your estimate of the demised value of used clothing.

Misconceptions

Many people mistakenly believe that they can only deduct $500 worth of donations each year. You can deduct more, but you must itemize to do so.

Reporting Work Clothes

To report deductions for clothing purchased for your job, use the “Miscellaneous expenses” line on IRS form 1040 Schedule A
Reporting- Clothing Donated

To report the values of clothing you’ve donated, use lines 16-19 of Schedule A on IRS form 1040. You may also be required to fill out form 8283.

Warning

Active full-time military personnel and people whose employers reimburse them for their uniforms are not eligible to deduct the cost of purchase, but they may be able to deduct the cost of cleaning and maintenance.
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