1997 Tax Help Archives  

Miscellaneous Expenses

This is archived information that pertains only to the 1997 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

Certain employee expenses, expenses of producing income, and a variety of other expenses are deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. Most miscellaneous deductions are subject to the 2% limit, which means you can deduct the amount left after you subtract 2% of your adjusted gross income from the total. Some of the miscellaneous expenses which may be deductible and subject to the 2% limit are:

  • Dues paid to professional societies,
  • Employment-related educational expenses,
  • Expenses of looking for a new job,
  • Professional books and magazines,
  • Union dues and fees,
  • Business-related travel, transportation, meal and entertainment expenses sometimes claimed on Form 2106 or 2106EZ,
  • Work clothes and uniforms,
  • Legal fees to collect taxable income, such as alimony,
  • Fees for renting a safe deposit box to store investment-related material; and
  • Fees for having a tax return prepared.

If you purchased a computer or a cellular phone, you can claim a depreciation deduction if you use these items in your work as an employee, and it is for the convenience of your employer and required as a condition of your employment. Depreciation is figured on Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization. This deduction also will be subject to the 2% limitation.

Substantiated gambling losses are deductible in the year incurred, but the losses you deduct cannot be more than the gambling winnings you report as income. This deduction is not subject to the 2% limitation.

Some miscellaneous items that you cannot deduct are:

  1. Commuting expenses going to and from work,
  2. Fines and penalties you pay for violating a law,
  3. Burial or funeral expenses; and
  4. Losses from the sale of your home.

If you want to see more about educational expenses, refer to Topic 513. For further information on employee business expenses, refer to Topics 511 and 512.

For additional information, order Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions or Publication 946 on Depreciation, by calling 1-800-829-3676.

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