Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clothing and Make-up as a Business Expense


I have a weekly live television segment that I have to buy clothing for as well as stay groomed ( waxing, hair, etc..) and buy special makeup for. Are these items tax deductible? I would not be buying all the clothing I've had to purchase this last year if it wasn't for the show.

Thanks...Great blog! Ellen

Hello Ellen,

Wish I had a more preferable answer. Street clothes -- pretty much meaning you could wear them through town and not attract weird looks -- are not deductible. On make-up and hair I look at what is typically spent for non-professionals and then take a deduction for the additional costs. For instance, typically women get their hair cut and colored every six weeks, so more often that that would be a business expense. The same with makeup. If you're doing full camera make-up each day or you're buying theatre/professional make-up you're going to spend a lot more than someone who makes up everyday for the office.

Other tax pros may treat this deduction in a different way. In cases where there is no yes/no answer, I choose a position that I would be able to argue comfortably.

Another way to look at why your clothes are not deductible: Think of the mother of a couple kids; She wears jeans and T-shirts all the time; Kids now are in school and she gets a job; she needs a whole new wardrobe. Not deductible.


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