Can I deduct my work expenses on my tax return?


Q. I had an accountant do my taxes and I think he left out some deductions. I work part-time doing security work and I use my own car to travel to different locations in the course of a day, using a lot of gas. I also had to buy a uniform, equipment and pay for cleaning expenses, as well as pay to get my security license. Can I deduct these expenses on my tax return?
— Taxpayer

A. Even though you’ve already filed, you do have the option of filing an amended return if you think there are some savings in store for you.

Generally, there have been two options for deducting expenses related to business income on an individual tax return.

If the income is paid as a salary and a W-2 is generated at year end, the only choice has been to deduct the expenses on schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction, said Chen Lu, an enrolled agent with Peapack Private Wealth Management in New Providence.

“However, starting in 2018 and continuing through 2025, Schedule A `miscellaneous itemized deductions that might exceed 2% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income’ are no longer allowed for the employee — a W-2 recipient — who is not employed as an armed forces reservist, a qualified performing artist, a fee-basis state or local government official, or an individual with a disability claiming impairment-related work expenses.”.

The other option is for income earned not as an employee, but rather, as a self-employed person, Lu said.

This income would be accompanied by a 1099-Misc/1099-NEC sent to you at the end of the year showing the total amount of income you were paid.

“This income would be reported on Schedule C of your income tax return,” Lu said. “So, if you received form 1099 for your part-time work, you may deduct the work-related expenses such as travel, transportation, meal expenses, work clothes and uniforms and more.”

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This story was originally published on June 14, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.