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Job-Related Expenses

Tax reform greatly affected your ability to claim business expense deductions. How do these new rules affect you?

Work-related expenses might not be totally tax-deductible anymore, meaning workers who spend money for their jobs might not get as much of that money back in the form of a tax refund.


Before the federal government passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017, if taxpayers chose to itemize deductions, they could deduct unreimbursed expenses related to their jobs from their taxable income. This meant the ability to deduct common business expenses, like travel and supplies, to the extent these things exceeded 2% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The ability to deduct these expenses was key for employees who incur business expenses that aren’t reimbursed or are only partially reimbursed, like truck drivers, hairstylists, and construction workers, for example.


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated this rule, along with the ability to itemize other miscellaneous deductions that exceeded the 2% AGI floor. However, it is important to note that the impact of this change might be offset by the new, almost-doubled standard deduction, which many more American workers will now claim.


So while most hardworking Americans are probably familiar with the concept of “spending money to make money,” they might need to rely on the standard deduction instead of counting on being able to deduct their job-related expenses.

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