If you paid for work-related expenses out of your own pocket, you may be able to deduct those costs. In most cases, you can claim allowable expenses if you itemize on IRS Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. You can deduct the amount that is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. Here are some things you should know:
Ordinary and Necessary. You can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is on that is appropriate and helpful to your business.
Expense Examples. Some cost that you may be able to deduct include:
- Required work clothes or uniforms no appropriate for everyday use.
- Supplies and tools you use on the job.
- Business use of your car.
- Business meals and entertainment.
- Business travel away from home.
- Business use of your home.
- Work-related education.
Educator Expenses. If you are a K-12 teacher, you may be able to deduct up to $250 of certain expenses you paid in 2015. These may include books, supplies, equipment and other materials used in the classroom. You claim this deduction as an adjustment to your return, rather than an itemized deduction.
Keep Records. You must keep records to prove the expenses you deduct. For what records to keep, see Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.