Topic No. 513 Work-Related Education Expenses

You may be able to deduct work-related education expenses paid during the year. To be deductible, your expenses must be for education that (1) maintains or improves your job skills or (2) a law requires to keep your status or occupation. However, even if the education meets either of these tests, the education can't be part of a program that will qualify you for a new trade or business or that you need to meet the minimal educational requirements of your trade or business.

Although the education must relate to your present work, education expenses incurred during temporary absence from your job may also be deductible. After your temporary absence, you must return to the same kind of work. Usually, absence from work for one year or less is considered temporary.

Expenses that you can deduct include:

  • Tuition, books, supplies, lab fees, and similar items
  • Certain transportation and travel costs, and
  • Other educational expenses, such as the cost of research and typing


To determine if your work-related expenses are deductible, see Are My Work-Related Education Expenses Deductible?

Self-employed individuals include education expenses on Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship) (PDF), Form 1040, Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit From Business (Sole Proprietorship) (PDF) or Form 1040, Schedule F, Profit or Loss From Farming (PDF).

For more information on work-related education expenses, education tax credits, or information for specific types of employees, such as performing artists, refer to Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education (PDF). Also, for additional information about education benefits, review Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center and Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?