IRD are really strict on what clothing purchases can and cannot be claimed as a business expense.
IRD policy states that only the below clothing purchases may be claimed:
- A uniform (mandated to be worn as part of your job) i.e. nursing scrubs
- Clothing that advertises your business
- Clothing purchased for health & safety (high vis vests, waterproof pants, hair nets, etc.)
- Protective clothing (steel capped boots, protective eyewear, helmets, steel gloves, masks, overalls, surgical scrubs, hard hats, etc.)
Here are a few common items that are NOT claimable:
- Glasses: Prescription or sunglasses.
- Business suits, shoes & socks, etc. (even if purchased to adhere to a dress code stipulated by your place of work)
- Any clothing that can be considered mixed use (i.e can be worn for personal or business purposes)
- Clothing purchased to protect from the elements (unless it is for Health and Safety purposes and/or advertises your business)
NB: The easiest way to think about it is unless the clothing is branded with a company logo or is required for Health & Safety purposes then it is not claimable (you may have purchased it "for work" but that doesn't make it a claimable business expense - much like a person with a permanent job can't claim a suit purchase even if it that the standard dress-code of their place of employment).