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Employee Business Expenses

Taxpayers who pay work-related expenses out of their own pocket may be able to deduct them.

Generally, employee business expenses are deductible if they are more than two percent of adjusted gross income.

1. They must be Ordinary and Necessary. People can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to their work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in the industry. A necessary expense is appropriate and helpful to a business.

2. Expense Examples. Some potentially deductible costs include:

  • Required work clothes or uniforms not appropriate for everyday use.

  • Supplies and tools for use on the job.

  • Business use of a car.

  • Business meals and entertainment.

  • Business travel away from home.

  • Business use of a home.

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