Exceeding The Standard Deduction
If you’re a salaried employee, your deductions can include job-related expenses. In order to deduct workplace expenses, your total itemized deductions must exceed the standard deduction. You are also required to meet the “2% floor.” This means that the total of the expenses you deduct must be greater than 2% of your adjusted gross income. You can deduct only the expenses over that amount.
Ensuring Your Deductions Qualify
In order for your deductions to qualify, all expenses must be incurred during the tax year, must be trade or business related, and must be “ordinary and necessary.” However, the expenses are allowed to be taken even if they are not required. Most importantly, the costs cannot be reimbursed by your employer.
Auto And Travel Expenses
Auto and travel expenses are among the most common work-related deductions. Auto costs that can be deducted include expenses for traveling between one workplace and another, visiting clients, getting a temporary workplace, and going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace. If you have no permanent office and work regularly within your metropolitan area, you can deduct the cost of travel outside that metropolitan area. Parking, tolls, and gas are deductible for work-related trips.
However, there are travel expenses that are not deductible. You cannot deduct typical commuting costs within your metropolitan area. You cannot deduct the cost of traveling to and from work, no matter how it is done. Parking at your permanent place of work is not deductible. Tolls and gas are not deductible for regular transportation to work.
If you have not been reimbursed by your company, you are able to expense any work-related travel expenses. If you are away from home on an assignment that lasts less than a year, you will be able to expense the costs for a taxi, plane, train or car. You are also permitted to deduct the cost of laundry, meals, baggage, telephone expenses, and tips.
Other Work-Related Expenses
You are permitted to expense home office costs, as long as the home office is your principal place of business. It is also permissible to deduct any job search expenses incurred while searching for a job in your current occupation. You may deduct any legal fees related to doing or keeping your job. You may also deduct any work clothes or uniforms that are not suitable for everyday use and are a condition of your employment.