tax deduct cost dry cleaning

Can You Deduct Dry Cleaning Expenses on Your Taxes? Uniforms & Clothing

Yes, You can deduct the cost of dry cleaning your work clothing, but according to the IRS, you have to meet some conditions:

  1. You must wear them as a condition of your employment: In other words, think uniforms. The clothing must specifically be required by your employer
  2. The clothing must not be suitable for everyday wear: If the clothes are appropriate for wearing to dinner or a social event, then you cannot use dry cleaning them as a deduction. So, sorry, no work suits and shirts! (see below)

nursing uniform dry cleaning deduction

Examples of Workers Who Can Deduct Dry Cleaning Their Clothing / Uniforms

Still not clear on whether you can deduct your dry cleaning? Here are some examples:

  • Delivery Workers: If you deliver office supplies or even pizza in a uniform, you can probably deduct dry cleaning
  • Firefighters: Your uniform is clearly required by your employer, and not appropriate to wear out to dinner!
  • Health Care Workers: Doctors and nurses can deduct the cost and cleaning of their uniforms. Also, check out these coupons for Scrubs & Beyond
  • Police / Law Enforcement Officers
  • Postal Workers / Letter Carriers
  • Professional Athletes – If you’re making $5 million a year, you probably aren’t cleaning your own uniform, nor deducting the cost!

You Can Deduct the Cost & Cleaning of Protective Clothing for Work

  • Electricians / Construction
  • Carpenters
  • Oil field workers / Miners
  • Fishing boat crew members
  • Truck Drivers

tax_deduction military uniform cleaning

You Can Deduct the Cost of Military Uniforms Under Certain Circumstances

If you are a full-time active duty member of the armed forces you may not be able to deduct the cost of your uniform, but can as a military reservist because it is “not suitable for every day wear.”

You also can’t deduct dry cleaning your uniform if you attend an armed forces academy, as in that case it replaces your regular clothing.

You can deduct the cost of your uniform if you are a civilian staff member at a military school.

Deducting Uniforms & Dry Cleaning Costs

I guess it all goes back to the IRS requirements of whether your uniform is required by your employer AND inappropriate for casual or other use!

About kevin

Hi, I'm Kevin McCormick. I graduated from Rutgers U., and now live in Philadelphia with my wife, three kids, and a dog. I enjoy blogging in my free time, especially about finance and the history of taxation. Thanks for stopping by Mighty Taxes!

2 thoughts on “Can You Deduct Dry Cleaning Expenses on Your Taxes? Uniforms & Clothing

  1. re: dry cleaning deduction

    I don’t think the IRS has the balls to audit a soldier over a few hundred dollars of uniform dry cleaning expenses. I’m going to keep deducting that cost, as I have few write-offs as it is, and served in Iraq.

  2. Lynn

    Superb blog you have here but I was curious if you had specific information on whether nurses and nurse practitioners who work part time can deduct the cost of cleaning uniforms? Some weeks I don’t work any hours, and I didn’t know if there was a minimum number of hours that you need to work to justify writing off the cost of dry cleaning, nurse shoes, and uniforms. thanks!

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