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State Legislators: Tax Reform Eliminates Deduction for Travel Expenses

Historic tax reform was passed by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on December 22, 2017. The IRS is working to educate taxpayers about important changes included in this legislation. One change significant for certain state legislators is that section 11045 of TCJA suspended all miscellaneous itemized deductions for taxable years 2018 through 2025. Unreimbursed travel expenses for state legislators are miscellaneous itemized deductions.

Under prior law, state legislators could deduct unreimbursed travel expenses while away from their district on legislative days if their residence was more than 50 miles from the state capitol. This deduction was one of several miscellaneous itemized deductions that these taxpayers could claim on Form 1040, Schedule A.

As a result of TCJA suspending miscellaneous itemized deductions, beginning January 1, 2018, state legislators’ unreimbursed travel expenses will not be deductible. Travel expenses reimbursed under an accountable plan continue to be excludible from state legislators’ wages.

Additional information about the TCJA is available on IRS.gov/taxreform.