If you have deductible expenses that qualify as miscellaneous itemized deductions, you can deduct certain of those expenses only to the extent that they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. For an explanation of deductible and nondeductible expenses, refer to Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.
There are three types of expenses that are subject to the 2% limit: unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees, and certain other expenses.
Unreimbursed Employee Expenses - Certain unreimbursed employee expenses are deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF), Itemized Deductions, or Schedule A in Form 1040NR (PDF), U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. To be deductible, the expense must be:
- Paid or incurred in the tax year
- For carrying on your trade or business of being an employee, and
- Ordinary and necessary
Tax Preparation Fees - You can usually deduct tax preparation fees on the return for the year in which you pay them. On your 2016 return, you can deduct fees paid in 2016 for preparing your 2015 return. These fees include the cost of tax preparation software programs, tax publications, and any fee you paid for filing your return electronically.
Other Expenses - You can deduct other expenses subject to the 2% limit that you pay to:
- Produce or collect taxable income that must be included in your gross income,
- Manage, conserve, or maintain property held for producing such income, or
- Determine, contest, pay, or claim a refund of any tax.
You can deduct expenses you pay for the purposes in (1) and (2) above only if they're reasonable and closely related to these purposes.
- Form 1040, Schedule A Instructions, Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, and Can I Claim My Expenses as Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040)?
- For work-related education expenses, refer to Topic 513 and Are Your Work-Related Educational Expenses Deductible?
- For employee business expenses, refer to Topic 514.
- For miscellaneous deductions not subject to the 2% limit, refer to Publication 529.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: December 30, 2016