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Don’t be casual about deducting formal attire

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q: My son just started a new job where he's required to wear a suit and tie. Since he had to buy several new suits for this position, can he deduct the cost. G.R., Islip, N.Y.

A: Sorry, he can't write off those fancy new duds. The cost of clothing isn't deductible if it's suitable for wear outside the office. Tax Court rulings have repeatedly turned down deductions for suits and related attire, even when the employee was required to wear them. On the other hand, taxpayers can deduct the cost of true "uniforms" and work clothes needed for safety purposes. Tip: He can deduct costs associated with his job search as a miscellaneous expense, (assuming it's not his first job).

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