Beginning tax year 2018:
Miscellaneous itemized deductions suspended. The previous deduction for job-related expenses or other miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceeded 2 percent of your adjusted gross income is suspended. This includes unreimbursed employee expenses such as uniforms, union dues and the deduction for business-related meals, entertainment and travel, as well as any deductions you may have previously been able to claim for tax preparation fees and investment expenses, including investment management fees, safe deposit box fees and investment expenses from pass-through entities. The business standard mileage rate listed in Notice 2018-03 cannot be used to claim an itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses during the suspension.
See the instructions for the new Schedule A at www.IRS.gov
Tax years prior to 2018:
Certain employee expenses are deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. Miscellaneous itemized deductions are subject to a 2% limit, which means you can deduct the amount of deductions left after you subtract 2% of your adjusted gross income from the total amount of deductions. Miscellaneous itemized deductions include the deductions for the following expenses:
- Dues paid to professional societies.
- Employment related educational expenses.
- Expenses of looking for a new job.
- Professional books and magazines.
- Union dues and fees.
- Business-related travel, transportation, meal and entertainment expenses sometimes claimed on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ.
- Work clothes and uniforms.
- Certain legal fees to collect taxable income, such as alimony.
- Fees for renting a safe deposit box to store investment related material.
- Fees for having a tax return prepared.
If you purchased a computer or a cellular phone, you can claim a depreciation deduction if you use it in your work as an employee, and its use is for the convenience of your employer and required as a condition of your employment. Depreciation is figured on Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization. This deduction also will be subject to the 2% limitation.
Substantiated gambling losses are deductible in the year incurred, but the losses you deduct cannot be more than the gambling winnings you report as income. This deduction is not subject to the 2% limitation.
Some miscellaneous expenses that you cannot deduct are:
- Commuting expenses going to and from work,
- Fines and penalties you pay for violating a law,
- Burial or funeral expenses; and
- Losses from the sale of your home or personal car.
If you want more in depth information about educational expenses, refer to IRS Topic 513. For further information on employee business expenses, refer to IRS Topic 511 and IRS Topic 512 and Publication 453 . For info on home office expenses refer to Topic 509. For info on personal car/transporation expenses refer to Topic 510.
For additional information, refer to IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, or IRS Publication 946, How To Depreciate Property.