Employee business expense deductions can mean a little extra cash in your pocket at tax time, as long as you have an actual legitimate expense as an employee that is not reimbursed by your employer.
If you use your personal vehicle, for example, for business purposes, you are eligible to deduct either the actual cost of operating the vehicle or you can choose the easier method of the standard mileage rate. Traveling to and from work doesn’t count as an operational expense, and therefore cannot be deducted.
If you’re required to travel away from your standard workplace, your expenses may be deductible as long as your employer didn’t cover the costs. In addition to mileage and lodging (should you need it), you can deduct 50% of the cost of meals while away on business. You’ll need your receipts for proof of the expenses.
Another common employee expense is related to the purchase of specific uniforms. If you are required to wear a uniform to perform your job, and the uniform is not suitable to be worn as street clothes, then you may qualify to deduct the upkeep and purchase of said uniforms.
Additionally, if you are required to pay for any training or classes associated with your career, you may be eligible to deduct the costs incurred. Courses that maintain your skills related to your industry, as well as mileage to and from the training center are typically deductible.
If you subscribe to journals, magazines or other publications that are related to your line of work, you may deduct the costs of these materials. Resume fees and agency expenses incurred while searching for a job in the same line of work that you are currently in are also deductible, as well as the cost of traveling to interviews, as long as you were responsible for the expenses.