March 4, 2020 - Douglas Myser

Twelve expenses you should not claim. No one wants to pay more than he or she has to in taxes. Fortunately, numerous deductions and credits can help lower your tax bill. However, don't make the mistake of trying to claim one of the these expenses or you might get into an audit with the IRS. Some of these expenses and deductions were suspended in 2017. Others were never real deductions in the first place. Twelve expenses you should not claim.

Unreimbursed work expenses.  Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, people who itemized their tax deductions could deduct a whole slew of miscellaneous expenses to the extent that those exceeded 2% of their adjusted gross income. That law suspended this deduction, however,  so you currently cannot deduct the cost of uniforms, union dues or business related meals or entertainment. Moving expenses. Moving expenses are not deductible at this time. This deduction, too, was suspended by the 2017 tax law. The kitchen counter that doubles as a work desk. If you're self employed or own a business, you may be able to claim a home office deduction. However, you can turn this legitimate deduction into something phony by stretching the rules. Simply doing some work at the dining room table isn't enough to qualify. You must use part of your home as your principal place of business and use it exclusively for that purpose.  So your home office cannot include the kitchen counter where you set up your laptop in the morning and chop vegetables in the evening. It also can't be the desk that you use for work and the kids use for homework.

Losses from a house fire.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act restricted the deduction for net casualty and theft losses. Now taxpayers may deduct these losses only if they are attributable to a federally declared disaster area.

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