Looking good is a job requirement when you work for TV. News anchors must be fit and polished: requiring gym memberships and salon visits. This can add up to thousands- but do these expenses count as business deductions?
Please, Don't Claim Your Thongs as Tax Deductions
News anchor Anietra Hamper applied for a whopping $167,356 in tax deductions between 2005 and 2008- nearly all expenses were for maintaining her appearance.
Hamper tried to write off everything:
business suits, lounge wear, sportswear, lingerie, thong underwear, evening wear, jewelry, bedding, running and walking shoes, dry cleaning costs, self-defense classes, gym memberships, salon visits, and the list goes on...
Why The Tax Court Ruled Against Anietra Hamper
Anietra Hamper wound up in U.S Tax Court for her excessive deductions, and the Tax Court ruled that much of the expenses claimed were personal ones. She now owes an additional $16,492 in taxes, plus $3,298 in fines!
The catch is that Anietra Hamper's dress code clearly stated that employees should buy clothing that could be worn "in any business day in a normal office setting". In other words, the outfits were not specific to her line of work.
The 3 Deductible Clothing Rules
1) It's up to you to prove the clothing expenses are ordinary and necessary to complete your job.
2) If you are required to wear a uniform, the cost paid for these uniforms is almost always tax deductible since the uniform is necessary for you to work.
3) In some cases you can deduct clothing cleaning costs.
Take Anietra Hamper's Tax Court ruling as an example. Sure, get creative when you look for deductions and ways to save, but don't get out of hand. You don't want to end up owing instead of saving in the end. If you still have questions, feel free to e-mail me.