Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What sorts of wardrobe & makeup expenses are deductible?

What Sorts of Wardrobe & Makeup Expenses are Deductible?

The general rule about wardrobe and makeup is that if you CAN use something for general street wear, even if you never do, then it’s NOT deductible as a business expense. If you bought a business suit to do a commercial and never wore it for anything else, it’s still not deductible, because you COULD wear it in public. A sequined, gold-lamé business suit would be a different story – it’s obviously a costume and not normal attire, and it’s deductible. Dance wear and shoes ARE deductible, even though you could wear them to the gym or even some places out in public, because they’re considered specialized work clothing -- like a nurse’s scrubs or a construction worker’s safety boots. 

Cleaning, repairs and maintenance of your clothes used on the job ARE deductible.

The same rules apply to hair and makeup expenses. Here, men have it easier, because we generally don’t wear makeup on the street, so guys can probably write off all their makeup expenses. Ladies do wear makeup on the street, so you’re probably limited to deducting only those items of makeup that aren’t suitable for street wear. Hair is much the same: even if a director or designer required you to get a specific haircut or dye job for a role, if the hairstyle is suitable for street wear, it’s not deductible. One exception to the general rule might be for hand models, who have to get more frequent manicures and take other precautions beyond normal grooming to keep their hands camera-ready.

Chapter 8 of The Actor’s Tax Guide discusses more than 25 kinds of expenses actors might incur.  Order your copy at www.ActorsTaxGuide.com

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