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Did You Know…?

June 26, 2018 | Weekly Commentary

by Mae Gerhart, Tax / Financial Planning Professional
Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions were one item that was nixed in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. While the deductions may still be allowable on your state and local returns, you are no longer able to write off unreimbursed employee business expenses on your federal return.

Unreimbursed business expenses are defined as an expense that is common and accepted in your trade or business and helpful or appropriate for your business. These expenses may include…

Transportation costs associated with using your personal vehicle for work-related reasons such as a business meeting away from your regular workplace, visiting clients or customers, or traveling between your regular place of business and a second office. The rate for unreimbursed business mileage is 54.5 cents per mile for 2018. You may also deduct the costs associated with parking or tolls. Regular commuting expenses are not deductible.

Travel expenses such as the cost of airline tickets, checked bags, a rental car or cab rides, meals while traveling, or a hotel stay for a work-related conference or out of state client or vendor meeting.

Other business expenses such as business cards, subscriptions to trade and business publications, professional dues (not for recreation, entertainment or pleasure) home office expenses, necessary tools and equipment, hospital scrubs, steel toed boots, union dues, business gifts (up to $25 per client), and work-related education that does not make you eligible for a new position.

If your employer has an accountable reimbursement plan, you may be able to provide receipts or mileage logs documenting these expenses to your employer for reimbursement. Whether your employer participates in an accountable reimbursement plan or you would be deducting it on your state and local returns, you will need to keep adequate records to substantiate the expense. Your records should include the date, amount paid, description of the expense, the business purpose, and other persons in attendance, if any.

Talk to your tax professional about planning strategies around changes in the tax law and how they may affect your individual situation.

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