April 28, 2017
 

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Occupational Deductions

The following PDF brochures are designed to help business people in specific industries know what they can deduct and to help them keep track of of their individual spending.

   

Tax deductions for Airline Flight Crew Personnel

Dues paid to professional societies related to your occupation are deductible. However, the costs of initial admission fees paid for membership in certain organizations or social clubs are considered capital expenses.

Deductions are allowed for payments made to a union as a condition of initial or continued membership. Such payments include dues, but not those that go toward defraying expenses of a personal nature. However, the portion of union dues that goes into a strike fund is deductible.

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Clergy

Tax deductions for Clergy

Many members of the clergy are paid a cash “housing allowance,” which they use to pay the expenses related to their homes (e.g. interest, real property taxes, utilities, etc.). Alternatively, some may live in a parsonage owned by the church. Neither a cash allowance (to the extent it is used to pay for home expenses) nor the estimated rental value of the parsonage is included in income for the purpose of computing your income tax.

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DayCare

Tax deductions for Day Care Providers

Your auto expenses are based on the number of qualified business miles you drive. Auto expenses for you as a day care provider could include your transportation:

  • to and from a class taken to enhance your day care skills;
  • on field trips with those for whom you are providing care;
  • for errands related to day care business (e.g. going to the bank to make a deposit of day care receipts);
  • to the store to shop for day care supplies; or
  • when chauffeuring day care attendees.

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Educators

Tax deductions for Educators

Educational expenses are deductible under either two conditions: (1) your employer requires the education in order for you to keep your job or rate of pay; or (2) the education maintains or improves your skills in the education profession. The cost of courses that are taken to meet the minimum requirements of a job or that qualify you for a new trade or business are not deductible. NOTE: Education undertaken to qualify a classroom teacher as a school administrator or guidance counselor generally meets the criteria for educational expense deductions.

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Entertainers

Tax deductions for Entertainers

Generally, to be deductible, items must be ordinary and necessary to your profession as an entertainer. Record separately from other supplies items costing more than $100 and having a useful life of more than one year. These items must be reported differently on your tax return than other recurring, everyday business expenses.

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Firefighters

Tax deductions for Firefighters

Generally, the costs of your firefighter uniforms are fully deductible. IRS rules specify that work clothing costs and the cost of maintenance are deductible if: (1) the uniforms are required by your employer (if you’re an employee); and (2) the clothes are not adaptable to ordinary street wear. Normally, the employer’s emblem attached to the clothing indicates it is not for street wear. The cost of protective clothing (e.g. safety shoes or goggles) is also deductible.

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Overnight Drivers

Tax deductions for Overnight Drivers

Expenses accrued when traveling away from “home” overnight for job-related reasons are deductible. Your “home” is generally considered to be the entire city or general area where your principal place of employment is located. Out-of-town expenses include transportation, meals, lodging, tips and miscellaneous items like laundry, valet etc.

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Peace Officers

Tax deductions for Peace Officers

Generally, meals consumed during hours of duty by peace officers are nondeductible.

Expenses of looking for new employment in your present line of work are deductible – you do not have to actually obtain a new job in order to deduct the expenses. Out-of-town, job-seeking expenses are deductible only if the primary purpose of the trip is job seeking, not pursuing personal activities.

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Sales Representatives

Tax deductions for Sales Representatives

Your auto expense is based on the number of qualified business miles you drive. Expenses for travel between business locations or daily transportation expenses between your residence and temporary work locations are deductible; include them as business miles. Expenses for your trips between home and work each day, or between home and one or more regular places of work, are COMMUTING expenses and are NOT deductible.

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Telecommuting

Tax deductions for Telecommuting Employees

Record separately from other supplies the costs of business assets that are expected to last longer than one year and cost more than $100. Normally, the costs of such assets are recovered differently on your tax return than are other recurring, everyday business expenses like business cards, office supplies etc.

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Waiters and Waitresses

Tax deductions for Waiters and Waitresses

If you are a waiter or waitress, the IRS requires you to keep a record of your tips. The record needs to include tips you receive from:

  • your customers in cash;
  • other tipped employees because of a “tip-sharing” arrangement; and
  • your customers who pay by credit card.

When you receive a tip but pay part of it to someone else (for example, a bartender), you should note the name of that person in your tip record along with the amount you paid him/her. You should keep your record updated on a day-to-day basis to make sure of its accuracy.

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