General Question

RandomMrdan's avatar

What do I need in order to deduct uniforms from my taxes?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7439points) January 30th, 2009

I buy shirts and ties for my place of work, I wasn’t sure if anyone knew the amount that could be deducted for the entire year and what you needed to prove you bought it all.

I shop at Kohl’s and for some reason they don’t have a customer database and can’t look up my transactions (I find it almost impossible to believe ). I was hoping they would be able to just re-print my old receipts, but they told me they couldn’t.

Am I screwed for trying to get that money back on taxes now? Or is there something else I could do?

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15 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

For all tax items, you need to have a receipt. If you don’t have the receipt, then you shouldn’t deduct it, because when the taxman comes calling, he wants to see those receipts, not any excuses why they don’t exist.

I’d be very surprised if any company would reprint a receipt containing your entire history of purchasing certain items. I’ve never seen any company do this, beyond my landlords. Why should they have to? They’re under no obligation to have such a system set up.

I think you’re screwed, unless you want to take the risk of deducting without having the receipt, or unless there’s a set amount of deductions you can claim without needing a receipt.

RandomMrdan's avatar

any retail store I’ve ever worked for…Blockbuster, Circuit City, Micro Center…have all kept customer records, and I can bring up any transaction in my entire purchase history there and print it out. I was really surprised when Kohl’s didn’t have the same thing for customer histories.

I’ll have to look into what I can deduct without having a receipt. =(

cak's avatar

Why so impossible to believe? I’d be more surprised if a store like Kohl’s did track purchases!

Upper end stores might do this – because their clientele is much smaller. Pharmacies generally will do something like this for you- but in general, I would never expect to see Kohl’s, Target…anyone like that, do it on a broad base for customers.

* I just read your post above mine – for store like that – computer/electronics – it makes sense for them. A lot of warranty issues, also because it is a very specialized market.

Did you purchase them on a credit card? That might be your only chance to get receipts, be careful, though. They might just charge you for the service.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I did make the purchase using my credit/debit card. I asked Kohl’s if they could just track my card number for transactions…and no again. Do you think I can do something through my bank?

Grisson's avatar

Check the tax rules before you go to that much trouble.

I think uniforms falls in that sort of miscellaneous deduction category where you have to have deductions totaling 2% or so of your Gross Income before you can deduct it.

StellarAirman's avatar

At least last year the only uniform items you could deduct are items that you can’t wear as normal attire. So, for military members that only includes our BDUs and ABUs, which are the camo items. Because I could wear the leather shoes, blue slacks, blue shirt, blue tie, etc as a normal clothing item, those can not be deducted. So if you are just buying a normal button-up shirt and tie at Kohls, I seriously doubt that is a legitimate deduction.

bristolbaby's avatar

credit card purchases can be tracked through the bank. However, as pointed out already, shirts & ties are not deductible because they can be used for other functions than just work. For example, you may wear one of those shirts and ties to work.

Work clothes exclusively refer to things such as safety glasses, hard hats, work boots, etc. and has already been pointed out, you would have had to spend more than 2% of your gross income on the purchases for them to be deductible.

Sorry. Your purchases don’t qualify as uniforms.

MrItty's avatar

I find it absurdly unlikely that you spent enough on uniforms to make it worth your while to itemize those uniforms rather than take the standard deduction.

Please understand or remember that a tax “deduction” is not a deduction from the amount of tax you have to pay (that’s called a credit). It’s a deduction from the amount of your income that it is used to compute the taxes you owe.

bristolbaby's avatar

oops – meant to say you could also wear those shirts and ties to church, weddings or funerals.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I’ve probably spent about 800 dollars in shirts and ties, maybe more…I thought it was a pretty big amount.

StellarAirman's avatar

But you can wear those shirts and ties anywhere, so they can’t be deducted, they are just like buying a pair of tennis shoes or a new jacket. That’s like deducting the price of all of the groceries you bought because without eating you’d die and not be able to work, so it’s a work expense.

MrItty's avatar

Random, standard deduction is $5,450. Even if you could deduct those clothes – which, as others have said, you can’t – you would be $4,650 better off not doing so.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Oh well…it was worth a shot.

DrBill's avatar

The uniforms are deductible IF they are specific to the business, like if they have the company logo on them. Don’t forget you can also include the cost of dry cleaning or laundry for these items

john65pennington's avatar

The only way you can deduct clothing, is it has to be a uniform or clothes that you would not wear, while on a dinner date or movie.

Some examples are police and fireman uniforms.

Everyday shirt and ties will probably not be deductible, since you can wear these clothes just about anywhere.

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