Talk to your employer to get reimbursed for those job- related expenses. After all, they're for the employer's benefit - and you both get better tax treatment. Your employer can typically deduct more of the expense than you can. As an employee, you can only deduct expenses that exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Work on getting reimbursed - that way, you get 100% of the money back with no tax consequences.


Your most valuable itemized deductions likely come from your home. Look for mortgage interest and point on the Form 1098 you receive from your mortgage lender in January. It also may show your real estate tax. Don’t forget second mortgages and home office deductions.


Your vehicle registration shows personal property tax you pay when you renew your vehicles' registrations each year. Be sure to include all vehicles owned, not just the one you drive.


Don't forget to track donations of money and property that you give to charitable organizations. Under new rules, a cash donation of any amount requires a bank record, such as a cancelled check or credit card statement, or a written acknowledgment from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. You must have written acknowledgement for cash donations of $250 or more. Your out- of- pocket volunteer expenses are deductible too, including mileage, parking fees and tolls.


You can deduct any portion of eligible medical expenses that exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the tax year (if not reimbursed by your employer or insurance company). Many expenses are eligible: even include routine items like the following:

  • Health insurance and long-term care insurance premiums

  • Most medical appointments (doctors/specialists, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist, etc.)

  • Eyeglasses, contact lenses and laser eye surgery

  • Prescriptions and insulin

  • Hearing aids and medical supplies

  • Travel to medical appointments and lodging

  • Vitamins taken under doctor orders

  • Costs of any special diets, such as gluten free or diabetic prescribed by a MD


You can deduct expenses in this category if the total exceeds 2% of your AGI for the tax year. Some of these expenses (if unreimbursed by your employer) include:

  • Job- related safety equipment, tools, uniforms, professional association dues, etc.

  • Business mileage to run business errands or attend appointments

  • Business use of your home if required by your employer

  • Educational courses/certification related to your work

  • Costs to look for a new job in your current profession

  • Tax preparation and tax planning fees

  • Safe deposit box fees and certain investment expenses


  • If you're self- employed, qualified business expenses are deductible even if you don't itemize. To claim expenses as an employee, however, you must itemize deductions. If you're an employee, your employment expenses can't be eligible for reimbursement and must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income, when combined with your other miscellaneous itemized deductions, which for last tax year was $1,334.
  • When you work toward credentials, certain expenses such as tuition, books, supplies and some transportation costs are deductible if the courses:
      • Maintain or develop new skills essential for your position
      • Meet a requirement of your employer
      • Don't qualify you for a new occupation

If you occasionally purchase supplies and equipment for use at work, you may be able to deduct the cost of items such as:                        

      • Tools

      • Safety equipment such as boots, gloves, protective eyewear

      • Mobile phones (special rules apply)

      • If you use your own vehicle for business, you may be able to deduct:

      • Mileage between offices, customers, or business errands (the commute from home to work is not deductible)

      • Any difference between the IRS allowed mileage rate and a lower rate paid by your employer

      • The actual expense of having and maintaining a vehicle

      • Here are some basic rules for deducting uniform expenses: The uniform must be required, you must purchase or lease it and it must not be suitable for wear away from work. If your uniform qualifies, you can deduct cleaning and repair costs along with the cost of the uniform itself.

      • Union dues are deductible if the payments are specifically for dues and initiation fees. However, contributions to pension funds or the payment of benefits for sickness, accident or death are not deductible.

      • The cost to become and remain bonded may be deductible; the cost of maintaining your plumber's license may also be deductible.


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