Are Safety Boots Tax Deductible?

By Amy Johnston | Guides

Mar 08
Are Work Boots Tax Deductible

Are your work boots tax deductible? This is a question that a lot of people find themselves asking, especially around this time of year. It can be a rather difficult question to answer, so it is no wonder that so many people want to know whether or not they can actually claim their work boots as a tax deduction. The problem is not so much with the question itself, but more so with how confusing it can be when it comes to knowing what can be deducted and what cannot. In addition, one person might very well be able to deduct their work boots from their taxes while the person next to them cannot take the same deduction. This alone is enough to confuse even the most conscientious individuals until they feel like they are running around in circles trying to sort things out.

Understanding Tax Deductions on Work Gear

Why does this question have to be so confusing? It isn’t exactly a secret that doing taxes can be confusing in and of itself. The truth is, there really isn’t all that much about the entire process that anyone in their right mind would consider simple. For the purposes of this particular question, a person can take a tax deduction on their work boots if they are boots that must be worn in order for them to perform their job and are not necessarily considered suitable for wearing while doing much of anything else. In other words, if you have to have a specific pair of boots for work and you never wear them when you are not working, then you can claim them as a tax deduction. However, if you have work boots that you wear at work and you wear them for things while you are off duty, you cannot claim them in any capacity.

It is obviously easier to claim this type of deduction if you have a job that requires the use of very specific footwear. For example, people that work as first responders typically wear what are commonly known as EMS boots. There is really not much of a chance that you are going to find yourself wearing these while you are trying to kick back and relax on a Saturday afternoon but you must have them in order to do your job. Therefore, something like this would be allowed as a tax deduction. On the other hand, if you work at a fitness center and you are purchasing footwear such as sneakers, you are probably not going to get away with making that claim because there is a better-than-average chance that you would end up wearing that type of footwear even when you are off duty. Of course, there are other types of jobs that also require specialized footwear. With that being said, this is a very specific question that comes down to what you do for a living and what types of clothing you have to have in order to complete that job.

In addition, you can typically forget about the tax deduction if you get any type of uniform allowance through your employer, especially if they are paying 100 percent of your uniform cost. However, you might still be able to take a partial deduction if they are only covering a certain percentage of your uniform costs.

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