If you work in security or asset protection or as a correctional officer, you should receive Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from your employer. Payments that you receive for providing security services outside of or in addition to your regular job may be considered income from self employment and are reportable on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. For example, self-employed income would include payments received for providing occasional security at special events, such as sporting events, private parties or events involving visiting dignitaries. For such arrangements, you may account for the income amounts yourself or you may receive a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. If you are self-employed and your net earnings are $400 or more, you must pay self-employment tax on the income you report on Schedule C. In addition, you may need to make estimated payments to cover the amount of self-employment tax or income tax associated with the income you report on Schedule C.
As an employee, you may be able to reduce your taxes by deducting unreimbursed job-related expenses. These expenses may be claimed as 2% limited miscellaneous itemized deductions or, if based on self-employment income, they may be deducted on Schedule C. You should keep receipts to substantiate these expenses. Examples of some of the items you may be able to deduct include:
You also may be able to deduct work-related education courses or seminars if they meet certain requirements. Education typically meeting the requirements includes refresher courses, courses on current developments, and vocational courses. However, education that qualifies you for a new trade or business, or that helps you to meet the minimum education requirements of your present trade or business, is not deductible. For example, a security specialist cannot deduct the expenses of going to a police academy to become a state police officer. Additional unreimbursed expenses may be deductible if you are a self-employed security specialist filing Schedule C. Examples of some items you may be able to deduct include: