Understanding the rules

Many taxpayers are required to maintain a certain personal appearance or wear special clothing for work. However, not all your purchases for work-related attire or personal grooming reap a tax deduction. If you are required to wear a uniform or other special clothing that has the name of your employer or some other logo on it, that cost is deductible as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.


Other employees, such as models, flight attendants, or other professionals who are required to maintain a highly professional, well-groomed appearance, may find that the cost of their expensive clothing and cosmetics will not save tax dollars. Even if your employer tells you that you must wear certain clothing, if it is not in the nature of a uniform, the cost is personal.

Remember, the general rule of thumb is that if the clothing is suitable for every-day wear, it's not deductible.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Turning Interest Payments Into Tax Deductions

    Make interest payments work for you, not against you

    You can deduct business-related interest on your business return if you used the borrowed funds to purchase business supplies, equipment, services, etc. Co-mingling business and personal expenses makes it difficult to determine what amount of the interest is business versus personal. If this happens, the IRS may consider the entire amount as nondeductible personal interest and disallow the deduction. Therefore, keep all business purchases made with loans and credit cards clearly separate from your personal expenses. Use a separate credit card for your business to make it easier.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • Self Employed Health Insurance

    If you are a self-employed taxpayer, you may deduct 100 percent of your health insurance premiums from your income. The deduction for health insurance premiums does not reduce your self-employment tax, however.
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

    Reduce your estate by gifting property

    There are many ways to contribute to a charitable organization. You can write a check, donate property, or give of your time. If you're planning for retirement, you might want to consider making a gift of a future interest in your property by establishing a charitable remainder unitrust or annuity trust. These trusts allow you to contribute the property and retain an income stream.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • IRA for Children

    If your child has earned income from a summer job, you may want to consider opening an IRA for him or her. There is no minimum age for contributing to an IRA. The only requirement is that the person making the contribution has earned income and has not reached age 70 1/2.