Tax Tip: Deduct Job-Related Expenses

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — You may not know it, but you can deduct expenses required to carry out the job for which you were hired, those that are common and accepted in your line of work, anything appropriate and helpful to your job, and costs for which you have not been reimbursed by your employer under an “accountable plan”.

These job-related expenses include:

  • Computer hardware and software required by your employer as a condition of employment and not merely for your own convenience.
  • Education required by an employer, by law, or by government regulation, or which maintains or improves skills required in your current trade or business. You cannot deduct education expenses if it is the minimum requirement for a trade or business or prepares one for a new trade or business.
  • Job-seeking expenses to look for employment in your current line of work. Looking for work in a new trade or field is not deductible; neither are the costs of finding your first job after graduating. You don’t have to actually get a new job to be able to deduct the expenses.
  • Small tools and supplies used on the job.
  • Travel and entertaining of clients, including business use of your car (credited at 50 cents per mile). Meals are only 50% deductible.
  • Uniforms and work clothes required as a condition of employment and not adaptable to everyday wear, and safety or protective clothes or equipment.
  • Union and professional dues.

If you claim deductions for travel or meals and entertainment expenses, or if you are partially reimbursed for any charges you wish to deduct, you must file Form 2106 or 2106-EZ.

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