Is your Halloween costume deductible?

June WalkerIt’s almost time for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Are you wondering whether you can deduct the cost of your Halloween costume as a business expense?

Well, no, if you bought it to go trick-or-treating with your kids.

Yes, if you bought it to attend a client’s Halloween party.

For both? Then proportion the cost based on % of use. Hmmm … 2 hours out with the kids; 3 hours at the client’s party. Three hours out of a total of five hours = 3/5 = 60%. So you get to deduct 60% of the cost.

Go wild. Get dressed and scare the sheet off Casper Client. And do it on Uncle Sam.

Below are are couple of questions from a fellow indie about the deductibility of clothes.

Undergarments As A Business Expense
Dear June —
I’m from Minneapolis, MN, and I am both a writer and a yoga/writing instructor. I’ve been an indie for 12 years. My husband is a dancer/actor/performer. We have two questions about business expenses.

As a yoga instructor, I have specific yoga clothes and undergarments that I purchase for teaching. Deductible, right?

And, my husband has a closet of clothes that he keeps for modeling that he doesn’t wear any other time, except for auditions and shoots. Deductible?

And, he has regular chiropractic and bodywork for body maintenance. Deductible? He isn’t being treated for a specific injury, he is treated for his posture, and to keep his “instrument” in good working order.

Thanks! Josie

Hi Josie,
The rule on clothes: If you can wear them as normal streetwear they are not deductible. Women wear tights as everyday clothes, so there goes that deduction. A sports bra, yes. Regular undergarments, no.

Your husband cannot deduct the clothes he buys for modeling. He could don them for everyday wear. He chooses not to.

Here’s another way to look at it. A housewife/mom sends her third child off to school, becomes a realtor and buys an entire business wardrobe because when she’s trying to sell a million-dollar house, the ripped jeans and tank tops won’t do. She gets no business clothing deduction. Although she could wear her new business suit to the PTA meeting, she chooses not to.

The freelance writer gets a writing gig for an uppity insurance company and must buy a new suit. No deduction.

A tuxedo or an evening dress for a business awards ceremony are deductible.

Chiropractic and bodywork to keep your guy fit are not deductible. Same would be true for the construction worker who has to stay in shape so he doesn’t fall off the scaffold or the waitress who gets a foot massage once a month to enable her to stay on her feet 10 hours a day.

Good try!
Best,
June

For more on the deductibility of clothes and make-up as a business expense, visit these posts on my blog: expenses — clothes-uniforms-costumes-hair/make-up.

APPY HALLOWEEN

It’s almost time for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Are you wondering whether you can deduct the cost of your Halloween costume as a business expense?

Well, no, if you bought it to go trick-or-treating with your kids.

Yes, if you bought it to attend a client’s Halloween party.

For both? Then proportion the cost based on % of use. Hmmm … 2 hours out with the kids; 3 hours at the client’s party. Three hours out of a total of five hours = 3/5 = 60%. So you get to deduct 60% of the cost.

Go wild. Get dressed and scare the sheet off Casper Client. And do it on Uncle Sam.

Below is a couple of questions from a fellow indie about the deductibility of clothes.

Undergarments As A Business Expense

June —

I’m from Minneapolis, MN, and I am both a writer and a yoga/writing instructor. I’ve been an indie for 12 years. My husband is a dancer/actor/performer. We have two questions about business expenses.

As a yoga instructor, I have specific yoga clothes and undergarments that I purchase for teaching. Deductible, right?

And, my husband has a closet of clothes that he keeps for modeling that he doesn’t wear any other time, except for auditions and shoots. Deductible?

And, he has regular chiropractic and bodywork for body maintenance. Deductible? He isn’t being treated for a specific injury, he is treated for his posture, and to keep his “instrument” in good working order.

Thanks! Josie

Hi Josie,

The rule on clothes: If you can wear them as normal streetwear they are not deductible. Women wear tights as everyday clothes, so there goes that deduction. A sports bra, yes. Regular undergarments, no.

Your husband cannot deduct the clothes he buys for modeling. He could don them for everyday wear. He chooses not to.

Here’s another way to look at it. A housewife / mom sends her third child off to school, becomes a realtor and buys an entire business wardrobe because when she’s trying to sell a million- dollar house the ripped jeans and tank tops won’t do. She get no business clothing deduction. Although she could wear her new business suit to the PTA meeting she chooses not to.

The freelance writer gets a writing gig for an uppity insurance company and must buy a new suit. No deduction.

A tuxedo or an evening dress for a business awards ceremony are deductible.

Chiropractic and bodywork to keep your guy fit are not deductible. Same would be true for the construction worker who has to stay in shape so he doesn’t fall off the scaffold or the waitress who gets a foot massage once a month to enable her to stay on her feet 10 hours a day.

Good try!
Best,

June

For more on the deductibility of clothes and make-up as a business expense, visit these posts on my blog expenses — clothes-uniforms-costumes-hair/make-up.

June Walker

Copyright 2010 June Walker

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