Deducting Business Expenses as an Employee


If you work for a company or organization, there's a chance you may incur some expenses related to your employment. If so, deductions exist for those expenses you paid and were not reimbursed for by your employer. In order to claim deductions on these expenses, you'll have to file a Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with your tax return.

Expenses must be considered both ordinary and necessary in your industry to be deducted. This means the expenses have to be common and appropriate and help the business in some way. Expenses can be calculated on a Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ, and then reported in total on a Schedule A, which is required to be the amount in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income.

As a K-12 educator, you receive an additional $250 in expense deductions, which related to supplies such as books and equipment that you purchased. Instead of itemizing the expenses for educators, you adjust your income on your tax return.

Regardless of how you claim the deduction, or which expenses you deduct, you should keep receipts and accurate records to substantiate your claims.

Some examples of expenses you may be able to deduct as an employee include:

  • The cost and maintenance of required uniforms, if they are not suitable to be worn outside of work as streetwear
  • Supplies and tools you are required to purchase
  • The use of your personal vehicle for business purposes
  • Business travel, with limitations
  • Home expenses for conducting business where you live
  • Educational expenses, with limits, related to your job
  • Meals and entertainment with a direct business purpose