Can You Write Off Military Uniforms on Taxes?

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A military personnel in uniform with gun in hand - Can You Write Off Military Uniforms on Taxes?

Members of the Armed Forces devote so much to their country. Soldiers can spend extended time away from their homes and families and face great difficulty. These jobs often require additional purchases, as well as issued materials.

Service members in the Armed Forces are often issued various uniforms and equipment for use in their duties. For their dedicated service, they may receive some benefits come tax season.

Whether or not a service member can deduct their uniform depends on certain factors, such as their employment status and the allowances they receive for said uniforms.

Read below for details on the items service members may deduct from their annual taxes.


Is Maintenance of Uniforms Deductible As Well?

Uniforms can generally be deducted only by reservists. Likewise, the costs of uniforms may only be deducted by non-full-time, non-active-duty personnel, and generally, only for uniforms, you are prohibited from wearing while off-duty.

For those qualifying for these reductions- reservists with these specific uniforms- any maintenance costs related to these uniforms are also generally deductible. In addition, additions to these uniforms, such as epaulets, may also be deducted.


What Can Other Military Equipment Be Deducted?

There are other types of military equipment that you may be able to deduct from your taxes. For example, you may be able to deduct any body armor purchased by you or a spouse for the purpose of use in combat.

For any equipment other than body armor, as long as it enables a service member to better perform their job, the service member may be able to deduct it. In addition, as previously mentioned, military clothing not to be worn off-duty may also be deducted.


Can You Write Off All the Uniforms Or Only Some?

So, can you deduct your military uniform? The answer is complicated. There are many factors set by the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, that dictate whether or not you can deduct.

To put it simply, if you are a full-time active duty member of the Armed Forces, you cannot deduct your uniform.

If you are a reservist in the Armed Forces, you may be able to deduct your uniform. However, you may only deduct the uniform’s unreimbursed cost if military regulations do not allow you to wear said uniform when off-duty.

You must also reduce your deduction by the amount of any allowance you receive for the uniform. It is always a good idea to visit the official website of the IRS in order to figure out the exact deductions you can make in your situation.


Important Things to Know Before You Write Off Uniforms

Suppose you are a service member and are trying to deduct a military uniform, equipment, or related expenses. In that case, several factors may affect how you write these items off on your taxes.

Where the uniform can be used, and the service member’s employment and combat status may affect the deductible. There are also many individual situations in which military items can be deducted; specific tax codes can be found on the IRS website.


Things You Can’t Write Off

There are certain expenses of many types that cannot be written off on your taxes; the military sector is no different.

There are a few factors affecting these purchases. As was previously mentioned, if you are a service member on full-time active duty, you cannot write off your uniform.

Service members who are not on full-time active duty but reservists must be prohibited from wearing any deducted uniforms while off duty.

It is, of course, always the safest bet to consult with an IRS representative about specific items you can and can’t write off your taxes.


Final Thoughts on Writing Off Military Uniforms on Taxes

To the Armed Forces service members who have found this article, we thank you for your service. Navigating tax season can be difficult and confusing. There are a variety of circumstances that qualify service members for tax deductions.

Full-time, active duty service members usually cannot deduct their uniforms from their taxes. In addition, uniforms that can be worn off-duty also cannot be deducted.

Check with the IRS official website for any additional questions or concerns about what can and cannot be deducted.

We wish you luck in filing your taxes!

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