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: 

  1. A uniform (mandated to be worn as part of your job) i.e. nursing scrubs
  2. Clothing that advertises your business
  3. Clothing purchased for health & safety (high vis vests, waterproof pants, hair nets, etc.)
  4. 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). 

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