Keep More of Your Hard-earned Money

Aug. 1, 2001

Keep More of Your Hard-earned Money

Save on your taxes by taking advantage of deductions for work-related expenses

By Joe Escobar

August 2001

It has been said that the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes. Although we have little control over when we take the eternal sleep, we do have the opportunity to reduce our taxes by taking advantage of all applicable deductions during the year. But the tax laws on what is considered an eligible deduction can be confusing. Becoming more familiar with these is a must in order to keep more of your hard-earned money.

Talk to a professional
Tax professionals have spent the time studying all of the tax laws and can help determine if you are taking all available deductions. They also keep abreast of all tax law changes from year-to-year, so even if you think you are taking advantage of all applicable deductions, it may still be in your best interest to talk to one.

What kind of expenses are deductible?
The first obvious expense that is deductible is work tools. This is especially true for beginning A&Ps, since they will usually have thousands of dollars invested right off the bat when tooling up for their first job. But, it is also easy for a seasoned mechanic to spend a considerable amount of money each year on tools.
Don’t forget that technical library subscription. This informational tool is necessary for those working in General Aviation, and can be included as a deduction. Subscriptions to trade magazines can also be included.
Union dues are also deductible. In addition, any job-related professional association dues may also be deductible.
Work-related travel expenses can be a deduction. Commuting back and forth to your regular job doesn’t count, but any travel required by the company can be included. There are many issues on deductions including mileage, per diem and meal expenses that need to be discussed with your tax consultant.

Uniforms and equipment
If your company requires you to wear a uniform and you are required to purchase them, then that expense may be deductible. Also, any rental fees or cleaning fees would be included. However, this doesn’t apply in all cases. If your company requires you to wear blue jeans and a button shirt, then the IRS doesn’t consider that to be a "uniform," and they will not allow those expenses to be claimed. Additionally, safety shoes, safety glasses, and other protective clothing can possibly be claimed.

Training and educational expenses
The IRS has many complicated guidelines on educational and training costs that are deductible. This is where sitting down with a professional can help the most. Basically, if the training or education is required by your company, or if it will help you in your current job, then it may apply. But there are many situations where they can’t be claimed, so it is important to know the tax laws before you go investing thousands of dollars on educational expenses.
These are just a few examples of work related expenses that are deductible. There are other eligible expenses that may apply for you. The bottom line is — do your homework. Learn the tax laws and how they apply to your work-related expenses. By claiming all of your eligible deductions, you can keep more of your hard-earned money every year.
After all, you deserve it!

For more information on current tax laws, you can contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or visit their website at