Can I deduct my son’s school uniforms on our taxes? They are required.
Unfortunately, no. Trust me, I wish it were different (my older daughter’s school requires uniforms, too). The IRS does not allow deductions for school uniforms, even if required, for public or private schools.
All is not lost, though. There is a possibility to save a little tax on uniforms if you invest in an Educational Savings Account. Unlike an IRA, an ESA contribution is not deductible for federal purposes (though some states will allow you to deduct contributions for state purposes). Money in those accounts grows tax-deferred – and the withdrawals are tax free so long as the money is used for “qualified education expenses”, including uniforms. You can contribute up to $2,000 per year to an ESA per beneficiary so long as you qualify (there are AGI restrictions). And if you don’t have the cash to put in the ESA, don’t worry – other family members can contribute, too.
I’ll be doing a follow up on 529 plans and ESAs shortly. In the meantime, be sure and check this post for some child-related expenses that are deductible.