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Work Clothes as a State Tax Deduction for California Residents


You might think that buying uniforms will help you on your tax deduction, however, that is not entirely true, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The first thing you should know is, in order to claim a deduction for buying clothes as “uniform’, the clothes have to be mandatory for your job and unsuitable for everyday wear.

Here are the 3 quick and easy steps to use Work Clothes as a Tax Deduction in your California:

Step 1: Determine which work clothes are necessary for your job.

The clothes you choose should not be suitable to use outside of work. However, just buying clothes specifically for work and never wearing them at any other time isn't good enough. The IRS has accepted deductions for theatrical costumes, hard hats, and other safety gear.

Some items are not deductible, although your company requires you to wear it:

  • Overalls and bibs

  • White Dress shirts

  • Suits, basically you cannot deduct their cost since you can wear the suits to weddings, job interviews, and other occasions that don't relate to work.

Step 2: Save the receipts of your purchases

Receipts provide proof that you spent the money on the clothes you are claiming a deduction for.

Also, you need to save the receipts for the amounts you spend maintaining your work clothes, such as for dry cleaning, shoe-shining and tailoring services are equally important since these costs are deductible too.

Step 3. Claim the deductions

Include your clothing costs with your other "miscellaneous itemized deductions'' on the Schedule A attachment to your tax return. First, you must evaluate whether the sum of all expenses you are eligible to itemize exceeds the standard deduction you can claim for your filing status. Only when itemizing yields a larger deduction should you choose to file Schedule A and deduct your work clothes.

Tips for deductions:

  • Work clothes are among the miscellaneous deductions that are only deductible to the extent the total exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

  • Add all the deductions in this category together—other deductions include work-related travel, work tools and professional journals—and subtract two percent of your adjusted gross income. This is the amount you can deduct.

  • You can find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of your Form 1040.

IMPORTANT:Beginning in 2018, unreimbursed employee expenses are no longer eligible for a tax deduction on your federal tax return, however, some states such as California continue to provide a deduction on your state tax return if you qualify.”

If you have any other tips feel free to share with us at admin@mybooksntaxes.com we would love to expand this list with more information.

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