UnderCover Waitress: Give Waiters a Tax Break

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Give Waiters a Tax Break

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So, you work in a restaurant as a waitress. You need specific clothing, for example, maybe a white button-down shirt and black pants. Or black shirt and black pants. Or a shirt with the company logo on it and khaki pants.

What about aprons? Some employers loan aprons to wait staff, others make you buy our own. With your own money.

And don't forget the Dansko shoes. Really, I can't imagine waiting in anything else.

You'd think it would be advisable to hang onto all those receipts for things you bought so you could work. After all, if you don't buy the black pants then you won't be allowed on the floor and you will lose your job. Never mind the fact that you have never worn black pants before in your life. And that fact that they make your butt look big.

But if you'd think that about the receipts, you'd be wrong.

The tax rules about employee uniforms are strict. The clothing must be not suitable for wear outside of work to be eligible for tax deduction. You may despise wearing black pants, but you can't deduct them.

If you purchase the little aprons with pockets that don't really protect your clothes from spills, you could make the argument that the $15 purchase is not suitable for anything outside of work. You are stuck, however, with the cost of the $120 pair of Dansko shoes.

Meanwhile, corporate jets still fall through tax loopholes, and bankers who were saved with middle-class taxpayer monies are now laying off middle-class bank employees.

I hate to have to break it to people, but if we don't start taxing the rich we are going to have to start eating them. I hope they are not too tough and stringy.

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