In 2018, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses. Any entries made into this section will not pull to the Federal return. Depending on the state, the information here may pull to the state return.
For tax years prior to 2018, the expense must be a common, helpful, and appropriate expense for your field of work to be deducted on your return. An expense does not necessarily have to be “required” for it to be deductible. However, if your employer reimbursed you for the expense, it cannot be included in your deduction.
Deductible expenses generally fall into one of two categories: job-specific expenses and travel-related expenses.
Examples of job-specific expenses to include are:
- Safety equipment, small tools, and supplies needed for your job.
- Uniforms required by your employer that are not suitable for ordinary wear.
- Protective clothing required in your work, such as hard hats, safety shoes, and glasses.
Examples of travel-related expenses you can include are:
- Meals and lodging while away from home
- Cleaning and laundry expenses
- Mileage (not commuting) for job-related work