I live in Oregon and teach Aerobics and have a question on make-up. I am required to wear makeup for my class and then after class, I promptly shower and re-apply. Often I teach more than one class and do this routine twice. I am blazing through my makeup because of teaching and it's irks me every time I have to buy more.
Can I argue a makeup expense of 50%? I teach 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day.
Thanks for your help! I love your website and have referred several friends.
Sincerely Carol from Oregon
Here's a similar situation that I addressed in a post about a year ago. The indie had a weekly live television segment and she needed to buy clothing and stay well groomed ( waxing, hair, etc..) and buy special makeup.
I 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.
So in your case, if a woman in a work situation typically applies make-up once a day and you must do it twice a day then 50% seems reasonable.
There is more info on indie business expenses in my book Self-employed Tax Solutions .