So you are an employee (receive a W-2) and you have some business expenses required for your job, but your employer does not pay you for them. Can you take them off of your taxes?

For expenses to help you on your taxes, you must file a schedule A. So what is a Schedule A? Well, as a taxpayer, you may either take a standard deduction (based upon filing status, age, and if you are blind) or you may itemize and take the itemized amount if it is higher than the standard deduction. When you itemize, you add up items like medical expense, taxes paid, mortgage interest, gifts to charity, and casualty loss/theft, and business expense.

So, if you itemize, you may be able to use business expense to help you. First, your business expense must be greater than 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income (what you make). Business expenses are ones required for your job, yet your employer does not reimburse you.

Commuting from home to work is not deductible, but some local transportation expenses from one workplace to another would count. Likewise, going from home to a temporary workplace would be deductible.

Business entertainment expenses and gifts may be deductible within limits, and the IRS suggests that you refer to Topic 512 or Publication 463. 

Other expenses like licenses, travel expenses, and work related publications may also add to your Schedule A itemization.

Generally, you will need to keep receipts, a mileage log for travel, and notes about how the expense relates to business. And if your business provides a partial reimbursement, then you must deduct that from the amount that you claim.

Now, that should make getting business done and getting tax credit for it a little simpler!


Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.