Generally, a taxpayer may deduct the cost of uniforms as a business expense if the taxpayer must wear them on the job and they are not suitable for street wear.
In Ratcliff, the Tax Court denied a minister a deduction for suits worn to church because the church did not require them. Rather, the wearing of a suit was only customary. Even if the church requires a minister to wear a suit while conducting church services or counseling church members, the cost of the suit would not be deductible because it is suitable for ordinary street wear. If a church requires a minister to purchase and wear special clothing or vestments during church services, that fact should be in the minister’s employment contract. If the special clothing or vestments are not suitable for street wear, they should be deductible.
Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.
This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.
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