Miscellaneous Tax Deductions

Important: All miscellaneous deductions subject to 2% of your AGI are eliminated and no longer deductible for Tax Years 2018-2025. While misc. deductions are no longer allowed for these returns, we will keep this information for 2017 and earlier tax returns. These deductions were removed because the standard deduction increased, making it much easier for most taxpayers to decrease their taxes without needing to itemize deductions on their tax returns.

For tax years prior to 2018, you can only claim miscellaneous deductions on your tax return if you itemize. This occurs when the total of your itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction and you file Schedule A reporting the itemized deduction amount. Your standard deduction is a fixed amount you can deduct based on your tax return filing status.

Since the details below are based on archived information for back taxes, please refer to current year resources for up-to-date information on deductions.

See more details on Miscellaneous Deductions for back taxes or continue reading.

What Are Miscellaneous Deductions?

Miscellaneous deductions are deductions that do not fit into other categories of the tax code. There are two types of miscellaneous deductions:

1) Deductions subject to the 2% limit - These deductions allow you to deduct only the amount of expense that is over 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI.

Miscellaneous deductions subject to the 2% limit fall into the following three categories:

  • Un-reimbursed Employee Expenses which include:
    • Business bad debt of an employee
    • Business liability insurance premiums
    • Damages paid an employer for breach of an employment contract
    • Depreciation of a cell phone or computer that your employer requires you to use with your work
    • Dues to a chamber of commerce if membership helps you do your job
    • Dues to professional societies
    • Educator expenses (above any amount you can deduct as an adjustment to income)
    • Home office or part of your home used regularly and exclusively in your work
    • Job search expenses in your present occupation
    • Laboratory breakage fees
    • Legal fees related to your job
    • Licenses and regulatory fees
    • Malpractice insurance premiums
    • Medical examinations required by an employer
    • Occupational taxes
    • Passport for a business trip
    • Repayment of an income aid payment received under an employer’s plan
    • Research expenses of a college professor
    • Rural mail carrier's vehicle expenses
  • Tax Preparation Fees - You can deduct tax return preparation expenses accrued in the year that you pay them, such as software or filing charges. However, you cannot deduct the convenience charge for paying your tax by credit card.
  • Other expenses you can claim as miscellaneous deductions include:

2) Deductions NOT Subject to the Two Percent Limit

Miscellaneous tax deductions that are not subject to the 2% limit include:

  • Amortizable premium on taxable bonds
  • Casualty and theft losses from income-producing property
  • Federal estate tax on income in respect of a decedent
  • Gambling losses up to the amount of gambling winnings
  • Impairment-related work expenses of persons with disabilities
  • Repayments of more than $3,000 under a claim of right
  • Unrecovered investment in an annuity

For more information on miscellaneous and other tax deductions, read additional details in IRS Publication 529 - Miscellaneous Deductions.

If you are preparing your current year return, the easiest and most accurate way to find out what tax deductions you can claim is to file a tax return on eFile.com. Based on your answers to the tax questions, we will determine what deductions you might qualify for. We will also determine what is most tax advantageous to you - whether to itemize or use the standard deduction - so that you don't have to worry about which one to use.