IRS Tax Forms  
Publication 529 2001 Tax Year

Nondeductible Expenses

You cannot deduct the following expenses.

List of Expenses

  • Adoption expenses.
  • Broker's commissions that you paid in connection with your IRA or other investment property.
  • Burial or funeral expenses, including the cost of a cemetery lot.
  • Campaign expenses.
  • Capital expenses.
  • Check-writing fees.
  • Certain club dues.
  • Commuting expenses.
  • Fees and licenses, such as car licenses, marriage licenses, and dog tags.
  • Fines and penalties, such as parking tickets.
  • Health spa expenses.
  • Hobby losses--But see Hobby expenses, earlier.
  • Home repairs, insurance, and rent.
  • Home security system.
  • Illegal bribes and kickbacks--See Bribes and kickbacks in chapter 13 of Publication 535.
  • Investment-related seminars.
  • Life insurance premiums.
  • Lobbying expenses.
  • Losses from the sale of your home, furniture, personal car, etc.
  • Lost or misplaced cash or property.
  • Lunches with coworkers.
  • Meals while working late.
  • Medical expenses as business expenses.
  • Personal disability insurance premiums.
  • Personal legal expenses.
  • Personal, living, or family expenses.
  • Political contributions.
  • Professional accreditation fees.
  • Professional reputation, expenses to improve.
  • Relief fund contributions.
  • Residential telephone line.
  • Stockholders' meeting, expenses of attending.
  • Tax-exempt income, expenses of earning or collecting.
  • The value of wages never received or lost vacation time.
  • Travel expenses for another individual.
  • Voluntary unemployment benefit fund contributions.
  • Wristwatches.

Adoption Expenses

You cannot deduct the expenses of adopting a child but you may be able to take a credit for those expenses. For details, see Publication 968, Tax Benefits for Adoption.

Campaign Expenses

You cannot deduct campaign expenses of a candidate for any office, even if the candidate is running for reelection to the office. These include qualification and registration fees for primary elections.

Legal fees. You cannot deduct legal fees paid to defend charges that arise from participation in a political campaign.

Capital Expenses

You cannot currently deduct amounts paid to buy property that has a useful life substantially beyond the tax year or amounts paid to increase the value or prolong the life of property. If you use such property in your work, you may be able to take a depreciation deduction. Get Publication 946. If the property is a car used in your work, also get Publication 463.

Check-Writing Fees on Personal Account

If you have a personal checking account, you cannot deduct fees charged by the bank for the privilege of writing checks, even if the account pays interest.

Club Dues

Generally, you cannot deduct the cost of membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose. This includes business, social, athletic, luncheon, sporting, airline, and hotel clubs. For exceptions, see Dues to Chambers of Commerce and Professional Societies under Unreimbursed Employee Expenses, earlier.

Commuting Expenses

You cannot deduct commuting expenses (the cost of transportation between your home and your main or regular place of work). If you haul tools, instruments, or other items in your car to and from work, you can deduct only the additional cost of hauling the items, such as the rent on a trailer to carry the items.

Fines or Penalties

You cannot deduct fines or penalties you pay to a governmental unit for violating a law. This includes an amount paid in settlement of your actual or potential liability for a fine or penalty (civil or criminal). Fines or penalties include parking tickets, tax penalties, and penalties deducted from teachers' paychecks after an illegal strike.

Health Spa Expenses

You cannot deduct health spa expenses, even if there is a job requirement to stay in excellent physical condition, such as might be required of a law enforcement officer.

Home Security System

You cannot deduct the cost of a home security system as a miscellaneous deduction. However, you may be able to claim a deduction for a home security system as a business expense if you have a home office. See Home Office under Unreimbursed Employee Expenses, earlier, and Publication 587.

Homeowners' Insurance Premiums

You cannot deduct premiums that you pay or that are placed in escrow for insurance on your home, such as fire and liability or mortgage insurance.

Investment-Related Seminars

You cannot deduct any expenses for attending a convention, seminar, or similar meeting for investment purposes.

Life Insurance Premiums

You cannot deduct premiums you pay on your life insurance. You may be able to deduct, as alimony, premiums you pay on life insurance policies assigned to your former spouse. See Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, for information on alimony.

Lobbying Expenses

You generally cannot deduct amounts paid or incurred for lobbying expenses. These include expenses to:

  1. Influence legislation,
  2. Participate, or intervene, in any political campaign for, or against, any candidate for public office,
  3. Attempt to influence the general public, or segments of the public, about elections, legislative matters, or referendums, or
  4. Communicate directly with covered executive branch officials in any attempt to influence the official actions or positions of those officials.

Lobbying expenses also include any amounts paid or incurred for research, preparation, planning, or coordination of any of these activities.

Covered executive branch official. A covered executive branch official, for the purpose of (4) above, is any of the following officials.

  • The President.
  • The Vice President.
  • Any officer or employee of the White House Office of the Executive Office of the President, and the two most senior level officers of each of the other agencies in the Executive Office.
  • Any individual serving in a position in Level I of the Executive Schedule under section 5312 of Title 5, United States Code, any other individual designated by the President as having Cabinet-level status, and any immediate deputy of one of these individuals.

Dues used for lobbying. If a tax-exempt organization notifies you that part of the dues or other amounts you pay to the organization are used to pay nondeductible lobbying expenses, you cannot deduct that part.

Exceptions. You can deduct certain lobbying expenses if they are ordinary and necessary expenses of carrying on your trade or business.

  1. You can deduct expenses for attempting to influence the legislation of any local council or similar governing body (local legislation). An Indian tribal government is considered a local council or similar governing body.
  2. You can deduct in-house expenses for influencing legislation or communicating directly with a covered executive branch official if the expenses for the tax year are not more than $2,000 (not counting overhead expenses).
  3. If you are a professional lobbyist, you can deduct the expenses you incur in the trade or business of lobbying on behalf of another person. Payments by the other person to you for lobbying activities cannot be deducted.

Lost or Mislaid Cash or Property

You cannot deduct a loss based on the mere disappearance of money or property. However, an accidental loss or disappearance of property can qualify as a casualty if it results from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected, or unusual. See Publication 547.

Example. A car door is accidentally slammed on your hand, breaking the setting of your diamond ring. The diamond falls from the ring and is never found. The loss of the diamond is a casualty.

Lunches With Coworkers

You cannot deduct the expenses of lunches with coworkers, except while traveling away from home on business. See Publication 463 for information on deductible expenses while traveling away from home.

Meals While Working Late

You cannot deduct the cost of meals while working late. However, you may be able to claim a deduction if the cost of the meals is a deductible entertainment expense, or if you are traveling away from home. See Publication 463 for information on deductible entertainment expenses and expenses while traveling away from home.

Personal Legal Expenses

You cannot deduct personal legal expenses such as those for the following.

  1. Custody of children.
  2. Breach of promise (to marry) suit.
  3. Civil or criminal charges resulting from a personal relationship.
  4. Damages for personal injury.
  5. Preparation of a title (or defense or perfection of a title).
  6. Preparation of a will.
  7. Property claims or property settlement in a divorce.

You cannot deduct these expenses even if a result of the legal proceeding is the loss of income-producing property.

Political Contributions

You cannot deduct contributions made to a political candidate, a campaign committee, or a newsletter fund. Advertisements in convention bulletins and admissions to dinners or programs that benefit a political party or political candidate are not deductible.

Professional Accreditation Fees

You cannot deduct professional accreditation fees such as the following.

  1. Accounting certificate fees paid for the initial right to practice accounting.
  2. Bar exam fees and incidental expenses in securing admission to the bar.
  3. Medical and dental license fees paid to get initial licensing.

Professional Reputation

You cannot deduct expenses of radio and TV appearances to increase your personal prestige or establish your professional reputation.

Relief Fund Contributions

You cannot deduct contributions paid to a private plan that pays benefits to any covered employee who cannot work because of any injury or illness not related to the job.

Residential Telephone Service

You cannot deduct any charge (including taxes) for basic local telephone service for the first telephone line to your residence, even if it is used in a trade or business.

Stockholders' Meetings

You cannot deduct transportation and other expenses you pay to attend stockholders' meetings of companies in which you own stock but have no other interest. You cannot deduct these expenses even if you are attending the meeting to get information that would be useful in making further investments.

Tax-Exempt Income Expenses

You cannot deduct expenses to produce tax-exempt income. You cannot deduct interest on a debt incurred or continued to buy or carry tax-exempt securities.

If you have expenses to produce both taxable and tax-exempt income, but you cannot identify the expenses that produce each type of income, you must divide the expenses based on the amount of each type of income to determine the amount that you can deduct.

Example. During the year, you received taxable interest of $4,800 and tax-exempt interest of $1,200. In earning this income, you had total expenses of $500 during the year. You cannot identify the amount of each expense item that is for each income item. Therefore, 80% ($4,800/$6,000) of the expense is for the taxable interest and 20% ($1,200/$6,000) is for the tax-exempt interest. You can deduct, subject to the 2% limit, expenses of $400 (80% of $500).

Travel Expenses for Another Individual

You generally cannot deduct travel expenses you pay or incur for a spouse, dependent, or other individual who accompanies you (or your employee) on business travel. See Publication 463 for more information on deductible travel expenses.

Voluntary Unemployment Benefit Fund Contributions

You cannot deduct voluntary unemployment benefit fund contributions you make to a union fund or a private fund. However, you can deduct contributions as taxes if state law requires you to make them to a state unemployment fund that covers you for the loss of wages from unemployment caused by business conditions.


You cannot deduct the cost of a wristwatch, even if there is a job requirement that you know the correct time to properly perform your duties.

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