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Can You Write-Off Clothing for a Photoshoot?

Hey there! If you're reading this, chances are you're considering having a professional photography session done.

Two models in designer clothing, orange tones in beautiful natural light.
Can you Write-Off Clothing for a Photoshoot? (Stylist: Tony B. @tonytheestylist) Models Left to Right, Samantha Nitting @samanthanitting & Doug @doug_ish

And we totally get it - there are so many reasons why you might want to have your photo taken by a pro!


But we know that one of the big questions on your mind is probably whether or not you can write off the cost of your clothing for the shoot.



Thankfully, Evan, the owner of ETG Photos, is not only a photographer but also a CPA. This means he gets to answer all sorts of fun tax-related photography questions and take amazing photos. So be sure to ask Evan any tax-related questions while planning your portrait session.


The answer to whether you can write off clothing for a photo shoot is not always straightforward. Here's what you need to know about deducting clothing expenses for your photoshoots. As a general rule, you cannot deduct the cost of your clothing from your taxes. Clothing is considered to be personal in nature and is not considered an ordinary or necessary business expense. However, there may be some instances where you can write off clothing expenses if you take the time to plan ahead.


Even though your photoshoot may be related to your business, the clothing you purchase for the shoot is not a deductible expense. This is because the clothing you purchase for your photoshoot is most likely unrelated to your business. For example, if you purchase a suit for a new headshot, you might wear that suit outside of the headshot session. This would make the suit personal and not eligible for a business deduction. (Note, even if you only wear it for work purposes, it would still not be deductible and be disallowed during an IRS audit). Therefore, knowing what expenses are and are not tax-deductible is essential if you're a business owner. Unfortunately, clothing purchases for photoshoots fall into the latter category. So, while you may be able to write off the cost of the photo shoot, the clothes you buy for it are considered a personal expense.



Let's look at some specific scenarios where the deductions would be allowed. For example, if you own a plumbing business and purchase shirts with your logo for a photo shoot, those shirts would be a tax deduction. The reason is that they're used for marketing your business and having a business purpose as a uniform while out on jobs.



What if you're a model, influencer, or CEO who needs portraits for business purposes? If you were to buy clothing items for that shoot, it wouldn't be considered a business expense because it is still personal. However, suppose you want something special to wear. In that case, ETG photos offer a styling service where we have a professional stylist who consults for the shoot and brings in amazing outfits that aren't available to the general public. This would be included on your invoice and would be tax-deductible. This way, the clothing is used explicitly for the shoot and is considered more of a prop or costume packaged with the photoshoot session rather than purchasing your own clothing.



How about a family photoshoot? A family portrait session is a personal affair, so there's no business expense. However, an option for family portrait clothing is to donate the clothing to a registered charity after the session is complete. This can be a great way to get some use out of clothes that might otherwise never be worn again, and it's also a tax-deductible donation. Just be sure to itemize your deductions on your tax return (if eligible and optimal), and get a receipt from the qualified charity. Donating clothes to charity is a great way to get some use out of clothes that might otherwise never be worn again. It's also a tax-deductible donation. Just be sure to itemize your deductions on your tax return (if eligible and optimal) and get a receipt from the qualified charity. When you itemize your deductions, you can deduct the fair market value of the clothing donated. The fair market value is the price you would expect to get for the clothing if you were to sell it at a garage sale or consignment shop. To deduct the fair market value of the clothing, you must have a receipt from a qualified charity. The receipt should show the charity's name, the donation date, and the clothing's fair market value.



More often than not, clothing for a photo shoot is not tax deductible. If you can wear it for personal purposes, then the deduction is not business related. There are other ways to deduct clothing, whether it be branded shirts, renting from a stylist, or donating the clothing to a charity. But before you can worry about what you will wear for your photo shoot, you should probably hit the button below to get to planning it!






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