• 11Nov

    Tax Write-Offs for a Bartender

    Bartenders may not have profession-specific tax write offs but they do qualify for a number of deductions and credits which can lower their yearly income tax obligation. As a bartender, you should know which of these tax write offs you can claim on your next IRS tax return.

    Training Expenses

    Depending on the state in which you work and the specific company you work for, there are several training expenses you may incur as a bartender. Certifications, tastings, alcohol service law education and other classes are not always paid for by the restaurant, club, or bar at which you are a bartender. Any mandatory training expenses you incur that are not reimbursed by your employer can be used as a tax write-off with your income tax itemized deductions.

    Uniform Expenses

    Whether you need to wear a full formal uniform or a simple company t-shirt to your bartending job, the expenses related to uniform requirements can be claimed as a tax write off if your company does not reimburse you. Specialized shoes, such as nonslip footwear, are usually the most expensive aspect of a bartender’s uniform and can be claimed as a deductible uniform expense. Also keep track of the money you spend on bartending uniform accessories, such as aprons, nametags and any professional dry cleaning or laundry services you use to care for uniforms.

    Allocated Tips

    Also known as tip sharing and tip-outs, allocated tips can be taken as a tax write off. In order to claim allocated tip sharing as an income tax deduction keep meticulous records of the amount given from each night of tips and how the money was allocated among supporting coworkers, like bar-backs and bussers. Any tip money your employer withholds from credit card transactions to cover the cost of card processing can also be claimed as a deduction but be sure to keep records of this as well in case of audit.

    Tools of the Trade

    As a bartender, there are certain tools of the trade you have to have in order to effectively do your job. Tools such as wine openers, jiggers, bottle openers, and drink recipe manuals may not be provided by the bar, club, or restaurant you bartend for. Any money you spend purchasing tools required to do your job can be claimed as a tax write off. Retain receipts of the bartending tools you purchase for your job in order to provide proof of the cost.

    Tax write offs available to bartenders are focused on the cost of performing the duties required by the profession. Carefully maintained records of money spent on bartending tools, education and tip allocation provide a number of eligible income tax deductions.

    Teresa often writes articles on how to save money during tax season. She currently works for an IRS resolution firm, Top Tax Defenders.