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Don't you dare deduct these expenses!

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Don't deduct dry cleaning, but …
Don't deduct dry cleaning, but … © iStock

Don't deduct dry cleaning, but …

Looking sharp at work rests totally on your shoulders. A U.S. Tax Court ruling in 2011 reaffirmed this tax law when the judge disallowed a television anchorwoman's deductions for tens of thousands of dollars in clothing she bought to wear on air.

But you can deduct the cost of dry cleaning or laundry of business uniforms. Under the tax code, that means attire you can't wear anywhere else, although with the ways some folks dress today, that designation could be hard to nail down.

When an outfit is "not suitable for everyday use," the IRS says the costs of upkeep for the apparel can be claimed as an unreimbursed business expense on Schedule A.

Also deductible are the cleaning charges for nonprofit uniforms; for example, an outfit required of hospital volunteers, or Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop leaders. Here, the costs of the uniform and its maintenance would count as charitable deductions, also claimed on Schedule A.

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