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Miscellaneous Employee Expenses


Certain employee expenditures that are not reimbursed by your employer may be deducted as an itemized deduction. The expenses must be ordinary and necessary and attributable to your trade or business.

Which Expenses qualify?

  • Business bad debt of an employee
    • Business bad debt is a loss created or acquired in your business.
  • Business liability insurance premiums
    • This includes insurance premiums paid for protection against personal liability for wrongful acts on the job.
  • Damages paid to a former employer for breach of an employment contract
    • If you break an employment contract, you can deduct damages paid to your former employer if the damages are attributable to the pay received from that employer.
  • Depreciation on a computer or cell phone your employer requires you to use in your work
    • The computer or cell phone must be for the convenience of your employer and required as a condition of your employment.
  • Dues to professional societies
    • The membership must help you carry out the duties of your job.
  • Job search expenses in your present occupation
    • You must be searching for a job in the same occupation in which you are currently employed.
    • You cannot be looking for your first job.
    • There cannot be a substantial break between the end of your last job and your looking for a new one.
  • Legal fees related to your job
    • This includes legal fees related to either doing or keeping your job.
  • Licenses and regulatory fees
    • This includes amounts paid to state or local governments for licenses and regulatory fees related to your trade or business.
  • Malpractice insurance premiums
  • Medical examinations required by an employer
  • Occupational taxes
    • Includes taxes charged at a flat tax rate by a locality for the privilege of working or conducting business in the area.
  • Passport for a business trip
  • Repayment of an income aid payment received under an employer’s plan
  • Research expenses of a college professor
  • Vehicle expenses for a rural mail carrier
  • Subscriptions to professional journals and trade magazines related to your work
    • Tools and supplies used in your work
  • Union dues and expenses
    • This includes dues and initiation fees not used to pay for sick, accident, or death benefits.
  • Work clothes and uniforms
    • The clothing must be a condition of your employment and not suitable for everyday wear.
  • Tax preparation fees
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