Real estate agents: Get a tax break for your work clothes
Real Estate Tax Talk
Q: I became a real estate agent this last year and I have heard from other agents that I can write off things like clothing and getting my hair done because I have to keep up a professional appearance at all times. Is this true?
A: The rule is that you can deduct the cost of clothing as a business expense only if:
- It is essential for your business;
- It is not suitable for ordinary street wear; and
- You don’t wear the clothing outside of business.
For example, the Internal Revenue Service has permitted business deductions for the cost of uniforms or special work clothes not suitable for personal wear, such as nurse’s uniforms, theatrical costumes, and clothing with a company logo.
Thus, you cannot deduct the cost of a regular business suit or other clothing that you can wear outside of business. However, if you purchase clothing with a real estate company logo on it, you may deduct the cost because it is not suitable outside of business. If your clothing is deductible, you may also deduct the cost of dry cleaning and other care.