Unreimbursed Job Expenses - Deductible?

Generally, unreimbursed employee business expenses are deductible. You must itemize these expenses on a Schedule A, and they are subject to a 2% floor of your income. 

You can deduct only unreimbursed employee expenses that are:

  • Paid or incurred during your tax year,

  • For carrying on your trade or business of being an employee, and

  • Ordinary and necessary.

An expense is ordinary if it is common and accepted in your trade, business, or profession. An expense is necessary if it is appropriate and helpful to your business. An expense doesn't have to be required to be considered necessary.

You may be able to deduct the following items as unreimbursed employee expenses.

  • Business liability insurance premiums.

  • Depreciation on a computer your employer requires you to use in your work.

  • Dues to a chamber of commerce if membership helps you do your job.

  • Dues to professional societies.

  • Educator expenses.

  • Home office or part of your home used regularly and exclusively in your work.

  • Job search expenses in your present occupation.

  • Legal fees related to your job.

  • Licenses and regulatory fees.

  • Malpractice insurance premiums.

  • Medical examinations required by an employer.

  • Occupational taxes.

  • Passport for a business trip.

  • Research expenses

  • Subscriptions to professional journals and trade magazines related to your work.

  • Tools and supplies used in your work.

  • Travel, transportation, meals, entertainment, gifts, and local lodging related to your work.

  • Union dues and expenses.

  • Work clothes and uniforms if required and not suitable for everyday use.

  • Work-related education.

Please keep in mind that if a reimbursement policy exists through your employer, these expenses may not be deductible if they are not submitted for reimbursement.