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Free Income Tax

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Free Income Tax

Free income tax Publication 915 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Free income tax Tax questions. Free income tax Useful Items - You may want to see: Reminders Future developments. Free income tax  The IRS has created a page on IRS. Free income tax gov for information about Publication 915, at www. Free income tax irs. Free income tax gov/pub915. Free income tax Information about any future developments affecting Publication 915 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page. Free income tax Photographs of missing children. Free income tax  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Free income tax Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Free income tax You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Free income tax Introduction This publication explains the federal income tax rules for social security benefits and equivalent tier 1 railroad retirement benefits. Free income tax It is prepared through the joint efforts of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the U. Free income tax S. Free income tax Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Free income tax Social security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. Free income tax They do not include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. Free income tax Equivalent tier 1 railroad retirement benefits are the part of tier 1 benefits that a railroad employee or beneficiary would have been entitled to receive under the social security system. Free income tax They are commonly called the social security equivalent benefit (SSEB) portion of tier 1 benefits. Free income tax If you received these benefits during 2013, you should have received a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, or Form RRB-1099, Payments by the Railroad Retirement Board, showing the amount. Free income tax (If you are a nonresident alien, you should have received Form SSA-1042S, Social Security Benefit Statement, or Form RRB-1042S, Statement for Nonresident Alien Recipients of: Payments by the Railroad Retirement Board. Free income tax ) Note. Free income tax When the term “benefits” is used in this publication, it applies to both social security benefits and the SSEB portion of tier 1 railroad retirement benefits. Free income tax What is covered in this publication. Free income tax   This publication covers the following topics: Whether any of your benefits are taxable, How much is taxable, How to report taxable benefits, How to treat lump-sum benefit payments, and Deductions related to your benefits, including a deduction or credit you can claim if your repayments are more than your gross benefits. Free income tax The Appendix at the end of this publication explains items shown on your Form SSA-1099, SSA-1042S, RRB-1099, or RRB-1042S. Free income tax What is not covered in this publication. Free income tax   This publication does not cover the tax rules for the following railroad retirement benefits: Non-social security equivalent benefit (NSSEB) portion of tier 1 benefits, Tier 2 benefits, Vested dual benefits, and Supplemental annuity benefits. Free income tax For information on these taxable pension benefits, see Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income. Free income tax   This publication also does not cover the tax rules for foreign social security benefits. Free income tax These benefits are taxable as annuities, unless they are exempt from U. Free income tax S. Free income tax tax or treated as a U. Free income tax S. Free income tax social security benefit under a tax treaty. Free income tax Comments and suggestions. Free income tax   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Free income tax   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Free income tax NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Free income tax Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Free income tax   You can send your comments from www. Free income tax irs. Free income tax gov/formspubs/. Free income tax Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications”. Free income tax   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Free income tax Ordering forms and publications. Free income tax   Visit www. Free income tax irs. Free income tax gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Free income tax Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Free income tax Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Free income tax   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Free income tax gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Free income tax We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Free income tax Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax 575 Pension and Annuity Income 590 Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) Forms (and Instructions) 1040-ES Estimated Tax for Individuals SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement RRB-1099 Payments by the Railroad Retirement Board W-4V Voluntary Withholding Request See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications and forms. Free income tax Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Contact My Local Office in Wyoming

Face-to-face Tax Help

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) are your source for personal tax help when you believe your tax issue can only be handled face-to-face. No appointment is necessary.

Keep in mind, many questions can be resolved online without waiting in line. Through IRS.gov you can:
• Set up a payment plan.
• Get a transcript of your tax return.
• Make a payment.
• Check on your refund.
• Find answers to many of your tax questions.

We are now referring all requests for tax return preparation services to other available resources. You can take advantage of free tax preparation through Free File, Free File Fillable Forms or through a volunteer site in your community. To find the nearest volunteer site location or to get more information about Free File, go to the top of the page and enter “Free Tax Help” in the Search box.

If you have a tax account issues and feel that it requires talking with someone face-to-face, visit your local TAC.

Caution:  Many of our offices are located in Federal Office Buildings. These buildings may not allow visitors to bring in cell phones with camera capabilities.

Multilingual assistance is available in every office. Hours of operation are subject to change.

Before visiting your local office click on "Services Provided" in the chart below to see what services are available. Services are limited and not all services are available at every TAC office and may vary from site to site. You can get these services on a walk-in basis.

City  Street Address  Days/Hours of Service  Telephone* 
Casper  100 E. B St.
Casper, WY 82601 

Tuesday - 10:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.)
Thursday - 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

 

Services Provided

(307) 261-6390 
Cheyenne  5353 Yellowstone Rd.
Cheyenne, WY 82009 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.)

 

Services Provided

(307) 633-0888 
Sheridan  1949 Sugarland Dr.
Sheridan, WY 82801 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.)

 

Services Provided

(307) 672-2788 

* Note: The phone numbers in the chart above are not toll-free for all locations. When you call, you will reach a recorded business message with information about office hours, locations and services provided in that office. If face-to-face assistance is not a priority for you, you may also get help with IRS letters or resolve tax account issues by phone, toll free at 1-800-829-1040 (individuals) or 1-800-829-4933 (businesses). 

For information on where to file your tax return please see Where to File Addresses

The Taxpayer Advocate Service: Call 307-633-0800 in the Cheyenne area or 1-877-777-4778 elsewhere, or see Publication 1546, The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS. For further information, see Tax Topic 104.

Partnerships

IRS and organizations all over the country are partnering to assist taxpayers. Through these partnerships, organizations are also achieving their own goals. These mutually beneficial partnerships are strengthening outreach efforts and bringing education and assistance to millions.

For more information about these programs for individuals and families, contact the Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication Office at:

Internal Revenue Service
5353 Yellowstone Rd., RM 206A 
MS 6610CHE
Cheyenne, WY 82001

For more information about these programs for businesses, your local Stakeholder Liaison office establishes relationships with organizations representing small business and self-employed taxpayers. They provide information about the policies, practices and procedures the IRS uses to ensure compliance with the tax laws. To establish a relationship with us, use this list to find a contact in your state:

Stakeholder Liaison (SL) Phone Numbers for Organizations Representing Small Businesses and Self-employed Taxpayers.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Mar-2014

The Free Income Tax

Free income tax 12. Free income tax   Business Deduction for Work-Related Education Table of Contents What's New Introduction Qualifying Work-Related EducationEducation Required by Employer or by Law Education To Maintain or Improve Skills Education To Meet Minimum Requirements Education That Qualifies You for a New Trade or Business What Expenses Can Be DeductedUnclaimed reimbursement. Free income tax Transportation Expenses Travel Expenses No Double Benefit Allowed How To Treat ReimbursementsAccountable Plans Nonaccountable Plans Deducting Business ExpensesSelf-Employed Persons Employees Performing Artists and Fee-Basis Officials Impairment-Related Work Expenses Recordkeeping Illustrated Example What's New Standard mileage rate. Free income tax  Generally, if you claim a business deduction for work-related education and you drive your car to and from school, the amount you can deduct for miles driven from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, is 56. Free income tax 5 cents per mile. Free income tax For more information, see Transportation Expenses under What Expenses Can Be Deducted, later. Free income tax Introduction This chapter discusses work-related education expenses that you may be able to deduct as business expenses. Free income tax To claim such a deduction, you must: Itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040 or 1040NR) if you are an employee, File Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business, Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business, or Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming if you are self-employed, and Have expenses for education that meet the requirements discussed under Qualifying Work-Related Education , later. Free income tax What is the tax benefit of taking a business deduction for work-related education. Free income tax   If you are an employee and can itemize your deductions, you may be able to claim a deduction for the expenses you pay for your work-related education. Free income tax Your deduction will be the amount by which your qualifying work-related education expenses plus other job and certain miscellaneous expenses (except for impairment-related work expenses of disabled individuals) is greater than 2% of your adjusted gross income. Free income tax An itemized deduction reduces the amount of your income subject to tax. Free income tax   If you are self-employed, you deduct your expenses for qualifying work-related education directly from your self-employment income. Free income tax This reduces the amount of your income subject to both income tax and self-employment tax. Free income tax   Your work-related education expenses may also qualify you for other tax benefits, such as the American opportunity and lifetime learning credits. Free income tax You may qualify for these other benefits even if you do not meet the requirements listed above. Free income tax   Also, your work-related education expenses may qualify you to claim more than one tax benefit. Free income tax Generally, you may claim any number of benefits as long as you use different expenses to figure each one. Free income tax Qualifying Work-Related Education You can deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as business expenses. Free income tax This is education that meets at least one of the following two tests. Free income tax The education is required by your employer or the law to keep your present salary, status, or job. Free income tax The required education must serve a bona fide business purpose of your employer. Free income tax The education maintains or improves skills needed in your present work. Free income tax However, even if the education meets one or both of the above tests, it is not qualifying work-related education if it: Is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements of your present trade or business, or Is part of a program of study that will qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax You can deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as a business expense even if the education could lead to a degree. Free income tax Use Figure 12-1, Does Your Work-Related Education Qualify as a quick check to see if your education qualifies. Free income tax Education Required by Employer or by Law Once you have met the minimum educational requirements for your job, your employer or the law may require you to get more education. Free income tax This additional education is qualifying work-related education if all three of the following requirements are met. Free income tax It is required for you to keep your present salary, status, or job, The requirement serves a bona fide business purpose of your employer, and The education is not part of a program that will qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax When you get more education than your employer or the law requires, the additional education can be qualifying work-related education only if it maintains or improves skills required in your present work. Free income tax See Education To Maintain or Improve Skills , later. Free income tax Example. Free income tax You are a teacher who has satisfied the minimum requirements for teaching. Free income tax Your employer requires you to take an additional college course each year to keep your teaching job. Free income tax If the courses will not qualify you for a new trade or business, they are qualifying work-related education even if you eventually receive a master's degree and an increase in salary because of this extra education. Free income tax This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free income tax Please click the link to view the image. Free income tax Figure 12-1 Education To Maintain or Improve Skills If your education is not required by your employer or the law, it can be qualifying work-related education only if it maintains or improves skills needed in your present work. Free income tax This could include refresher courses, courses on current developments, and academic or vocational courses. Free income tax Example. Free income tax You repair televisions, radios, and stereo systems for XYZ Store. Free income tax To keep up with the latest changes, you take special courses in radio and stereo service. Free income tax These courses maintain and improve skills required in your work. Free income tax Maintaining skills vs. Free income tax qualifying for new job. Free income tax   Education to maintain or improve skills needed in your present work is not qualifying education if it will also qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax Education during temporary absence. Free income tax   If you stop working for a year or less in order to get education to maintain or improve skills needed in your present work and then return to the same general type of work, your absence is considered temporary. Free income tax Education that you get during a temporary absence is qualifying work-related education if it maintains or improves skills needed in your present work. Free income tax Example. Free income tax You quit your biology research job to become a full-time biology graduate student for 1 year. Free income tax If you return to work in biology research after completing the courses, the education is related to your present work even if you do not go back to work with the same employer. Free income tax Education during indefinite absence. Free income tax   If you stop work for more than a year, your absence from your job is considered indefinite. Free income tax Education during an indefinite absence, even if it maintains or improves skills needed in the work from which you are absent, is considered to qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax Therefore, it is not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Education To Meet Minimum Requirements Education you need to meet the minimum educational requirements for your present trade or business is not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax The minimum educational requirements are determined by: Laws and regulations, Standards of your profession, trade, or business, and Your employer. Free income tax Once you have met the minimum educational requirements that were in effect when you were hired, you do not have to meet any new minimum educational requirements. Free income tax This means that if the minimum requirements change after you were hired, any education you need to meet the new requirements can be qualifying education. Free income tax You have not necessarily met the minimum educational requirements of your trade or business simply because you are already doing the work. Free income tax Example 1. Free income tax You are a full-time engineering student. Free income tax Although you have not received your degree or certification, you work part time as an engineer for a firm that will employ you as a full-time engineer after you finish college. Free income tax Although your college engineering courses improve your skills in your present job, they are also needed to meet the minimum job requirements for a full-time engineer. Free income tax The education is not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Example 2. Free income tax You are an accountant and you have met the minimum educational requirements of your employer. Free income tax Your employer later changes the minimum educational requirements and requires you to take college courses to keep your job. Free income tax These additional courses can be qualifying work-related education because you have already satisfied the minimum requirements that were in effect when you were hired. Free income tax Requirements for Teachers States or school districts usually set the minimum educational requirements for teachers. Free income tax The requirement is the college degree or the minimum number of college hours usually required of a person hired for that position. Free income tax If there are no requirements, you will have met the minimum educational requirements when you become a faculty member. Free income tax The determination of whether you are a faculty member of an educational institution must be made on the basis of the particular practices of the institution. Free income tax You generally will be considered a faculty member when one or more of the following occurs. Free income tax You have tenure. Free income tax Your years of service count toward obtaining tenure. Free income tax You have a vote in faculty decisions. Free income tax Your school makes contributions for you to a retirement plan other than social security or a similar program. Free income tax Example 1. Free income tax The law in your state requires beginning secondary school teachers to have a bachelor's degree, including 10 professional education courses. Free income tax In addition, to keep the job a teacher must complete a fifth year of training within 10 years from the date of hire. Free income tax If the employing school certifies to the state Department of Education that qualified teachers cannot be found, the school can hire persons with only 3 years of college. Free income tax However, to keep their jobs, these teachers must get a bachelor's degree and the required professional education courses within 3 years. Free income tax Under these facts, the bachelor's degree, whether or not it includes the 10 professional education courses, is considered the minimum educational requirement for qualification as a teacher in your state. Free income tax If you have all the required education except the fifth year, you have met the minimum educational requirements. Free income tax The fifth year of training is qualifying work-related education unless it is part of a program of study that will qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax Example 2. Free income tax Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that you have a bachelor's degree and only six professional education courses. Free income tax The additional four education courses can be qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Although you do not have all the required courses, you have already met the minimum educational requirements. Free income tax Example 3. Free income tax Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that you are hired with only 3 years of college. Free income tax The courses you take that lead to a bachelor's degree (including those in education) are not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax They are needed to meet the minimum educational requirements for employment as a teacher. Free income tax Example 4. Free income tax You have a bachelor's degree and you work as a temporary instructor at a university. Free income tax At the same time, you take graduate courses toward an advanced degree. Free income tax The rules of the university state that you can become a faculty member only if you get a graduate degree. Free income tax Also, you can keep your job as an instructor only as long as you show satisfactory progress toward getting this degree. Free income tax You have not met the minimum educational requirements to qualify you as a faculty member. Free income tax The graduate courses are not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Certification in a new state. Free income tax   Once you have met the minimum educational requirements for teachers for your state, you are considered to have met the minimum educational requirements in all states. Free income tax This is true even if you must get additional education to be certified in another state. Free income tax Any additional education you need is qualifying work-related education. Free income tax You have already met the minimum requirements for teaching. Free income tax Teaching in another state is not a new trade or business. Free income tax Example. Free income tax You hold a permanent teaching certificate in State A and are employed as a teacher in that state for several years. Free income tax You move to State B and are promptly hired as a teacher. Free income tax You are required, however, to complete certain prescribed courses to get a permanent teaching certificate in State B. Free income tax These additional courses are qualifying work-related education because the teaching position in State B involves the same general kind of work for which you were qualified in State A. Free income tax Education That Qualifies You for a New Trade or Business Education that is part of a program of study that will qualify you for a new trade or business is not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax This is true even if you do not plan to enter that trade or business. Free income tax If you are an employee, a change of duties that involves the same general kind of work is not a new trade or business. Free income tax Example 1. Free income tax You are an accountant. Free income tax Your employer requires you to get a law degree at your own expense. Free income tax You register at a law school for the regular curriculum that leads to a law degree. Free income tax Even if you do not intend to become a lawyer, the education is not qualifying because the law degree will qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax Example 2. Free income tax You are a general practitioner of medicine. Free income tax You take a 2-week course to review developments in several specialized fields of medicine. Free income tax The course does not qualify you for a new profession. Free income tax It is qualifying work- related education because it maintains or improves skills required in your present profession. Free income tax Example 3. Free income tax While working in the private practice of psychiatry, you enter a program to study and train at an accredited psychoanalytic institute. Free income tax The program will lead to qualifying you to practice psychoanalysis. Free income tax The psychoanalytic training does not qualify you for a new profession. Free income tax It is qualifying work-related education because it maintains or improves skills required in your present profession. Free income tax Bar or CPA Review Course Review courses to prepare for the bar examination or the certified public accountant (CPA) examination are not qualifying work-related education. Free income tax They are part of a program of study that can qualify you for a new profession. Free income tax Teaching and Related Duties All teaching and related duties are considered the same general kind of work. Free income tax A change in duties in any of the following ways is not considered a change to a new business. Free income tax Elementary school teacher to secondary school teacher. Free income tax Teacher of one subject, such as biology, to teacher of another subject, such as art. Free income tax Classroom teacher to guidance counselor. Free income tax Classroom teacher to school administrator. Free income tax What Expenses Can Be Deducted If your education meets the requirements described earlier under Qualifying Work-Related Education you can generally deduct your education expenses as business expenses. Free income tax If you are not self-employed, you can deduct business expenses only if you itemize your deductions. Free income tax You cannot deduct expenses related to tax-exempt and excluded income. Free income tax Deductible expenses. Free income tax   The following education expenses can be deducted. Free income tax Tuition, books, supplies, lab fees, and similar items. Free income tax Certain transportation and travel costs. Free income tax Other education expenses, such as costs of research and typing when writing a paper as part of an educational program. Free income tax Nondeductible expenses. Free income tax   You cannot deduct personal or capital expenses. Free income tax For example, you cannot deduct the dollar value of vacation time or annual leave you take to attend classes. Free income tax This amount is a personal expense. Free income tax Unclaimed reimbursement. Free income tax   If you do not claim reimbursement that you are entitled to receive from your employer, you cannot deduct the expenses that apply to that unclaimed reimbursement. Free income tax Example. Free income tax Your employer agrees to pay your education expenses if you file a voucher showing your expenses. Free income tax You do not file a voucher and you do not get reimbursed. Free income tax Because you did not file a voucher, you cannot deduct the expenses on your tax return. Free income tax Transportation Expenses If your education qualifies, you can deduct local transportation costs of going directly from work to school. Free income tax If you are regularly employed and go to school on a temporary basis, you can also deduct the costs of returning from school to home. Free income tax Temporary basis. Free income tax   You go to school on a temporary basis if either of the following situations applies to you. Free income tax Your attendance at school is realistically expected to last 1 year or less and does indeed last for 1 year or less. Free income tax Initially, your attendance at school is realistically expected to last 1 year or less, but at a later date your attendance is reasonably expected to last more than 1 year. Free income tax Your attendance is temporary up to the date you determine it will last more than 1 year. Free income tax If you are in either situation (1) or (2) above, your attendance is not temporary if facts and circumstances indicate otherwise. Free income tax Attendance not on a temporary basis. Free income tax   You do not go to school on a temporary basis if either of the following situations apply to you. Free income tax Your attendance at school is realistically expected to last more than 1 year. Free income tax It does not matter how long you actually attend. Free income tax Initially, your attendance at school is realistically expected to last 1 year or less, but at a later date your attendance is reasonably expected to last more than 1 year. Free income tax Your attendance is not temporary after the date you determine it will last more than 1 year. Free income tax Deductible Transportation Expenses If you are regularly employed and go directly from home to school on a temporary basis, you can deduct the round-trip costs of transportation between your home and school. Free income tax This is true regardless of the location of the school, the distance traveled, or whether you attend school on nonwork days. Free income tax Transportation expenses include the actual costs of bus, subway, cab, or other fares, as well as the costs of using your car. Free income tax Transportation expenses do not include amounts spent for travel, meals, or lodging while you are away from home overnight. Free income tax Example 1. Free income tax You regularly work in a nearby town, and go directly from work to home. Free income tax You also attend school every work night for 3 months to take a course that improves your job skills. Free income tax Since you are attending school on a temporary basis, you can deduct your daily round-trip transportation expenses in going between home and school. Free income tax This is true regardless of the distance traveled. Free income tax Example 2. Free income tax Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that on certain nights you go directly from work to school and then home. Free income tax You can deduct your transportation expenses from your regular work site to school and then home. Free income tax Example 3. Free income tax Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that you attend the school for 9 months on Saturdays, nonwork days. Free income tax Since you are attending school on a temporary basis, you can deduct your round-trip transportation expenses in going between home and school. Free income tax Example 4. Free income tax Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that you attend classes twice a week for 15 months. Free income tax Since your attendance in school is not considered temporary, you cannot deduct your transportation expenses in going between home and school. Free income tax If you go directly from work to school, you can deduct the one-way transportation expenses of going from work to school. Free income tax If you go from work to home to school and return home, your transportation expenses cannot be more than if you had gone directly from work to school. Free income tax Using your car. Free income tax    If you use your car (whether you own or lease it) for transportation to school, you can deduct your actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate to figure the amount you can deduct. Free income tax The standard mileage rate for miles driven from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, is 56. Free income tax 5 cents per mile. Free income tax Whichever method you use, you can also deduct parking fees and tolls. Free income tax See Publication 463, chapter 4, for information on deducting your actual expenses of using a car. Free income tax Travel Expenses You can deduct expenses for travel, meals (see 50% limit on meals , later), and lodging if you travel overnight mainly to obtain qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Travel expenses for qualifying work-related education are treated the same as travel expenses for other employee business purposes. Free income tax For more information, see chapter 1 of Publication 463. Free income tax You cannot deduct expenses for personal activities such as sightseeing, visiting, or entertaining. Free income tax Mainly personal travel. Free income tax   If your travel away from home is mainly personal, you cannot deduct all of your expenses for travel, meals, and lodging. Free income tax You can deduct only your expenses for lodging and 50% of your expenses for meals during the time you attend the qualified educational activities. Free income tax   Whether a trip's purpose is mainly personal or educational depends upon the facts and circumstances. Free income tax An important factor is the comparison of time spent on personal activities with time spent on educational activities. Free income tax If you spend more time on personal activities, the trip is considered mainly educational only if you can show a substantial nonpersonal reason for traveling to a particular location. Free income tax Example 1. Free income tax John works in Newark, New Jersey. Free income tax He traveled to Chicago to take a deductible 1-week course at the request of his employer. Free income tax His main reason for going to Chicago was to take the course. Free income tax While there, he took a sightseeing trip, entertained some friends, and took a side trip to Pleasantville for a day. Free income tax Since the trip was mainly for business, John can deduct his round-trip airfare to Chicago. Free income tax He cannot deduct his transportation expenses of going to Pleasantville. Free income tax He can deduct only the meals (subject to the 50% limit) and lodging connected with his educational activities. Free income tax Example 2. Free income tax Sue works in Boston. Free income tax She went to a university in Michigan to take a course for work. Free income tax The course is qualifying work-related education. Free income tax She took one course, which is one-fourth of a full course load of study. Free income tax She spent the rest of the time on personal activities. Free income tax Her reasons for taking the course in Michigan were all personal. Free income tax Sue's trip is mainly personal because three-fourths of her time is considered personal time. Free income tax She cannot deduct the cost of her round-trip train ticket to Michigan. Free income tax She can deduct one-fourth of the meals (subject to the 50% limit) and lodging costs for the time she attended the university. Free income tax Example 3. Free income tax Dave works in Nashville and recently traveled to California to take a 2-week seminar. Free income tax The seminar is qualifying work-related education. Free income tax While there, he spent an extra 8 weeks on personal activities. Free income tax The facts, including the extra 8-week stay, show that his main purpose was to take a vacation. Free income tax Dave cannot deduct his round-trip airfare or his meals and lodging for the 8 weeks. Free income tax He can deduct only his expenses for meals (subject to the 50% limit) and lodging for the 2 weeks he attended the seminar. Free income tax Cruises and conventions. Free income tax   Certain cruises and conventions offer seminars or courses as part of their itinerary. Free income tax Even if the seminars or courses are work related, your deduction for travel may be limited. Free income tax This applies to: Travel by ocean liner, cruise ship, or other form of luxury water transportation, and Conventions outside the North American area. Free income tax   For a discussion of the limits on travel expense deductions that apply to cruises and conventions, see Luxury Water Travel and Conventions in chapter 1 of Publication 463. Free income tax 50% limit on meals. Free income tax   You can deduct only 50% of the cost of your meals while traveling away from home to obtain qualifying work-related education. Free income tax If you were reimbursed for the meals, see How To Treat Reimbursements , later. Free income tax   Employees must use Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ to apply the 50% limit. Free income tax Travel as Education You cannot deduct the cost of travel as a form of education even if it is directly related to your duties in your work or business. Free income tax Example. Free income tax You are a French language teacher. Free income tax While on sabbatical leave granted for travel, you traveled through France to improve your knowledge of the French language. Free income tax You chose your itinerary and most of your activities to improve your French language skills. Free income tax You cannot deduct your travel expenses as education expenses. Free income tax This is true even if you spent most of your time learning French by visiting French schools and families, attending movies or plays, and engaging in similar activities. Free income tax No Double Benefit Allowed You cannot do either of the following. Free income tax Deduct work-related education expenses as business expenses if you benefit from these expenses under any other provision of the law, for example, as a tuition and fees deduction. Free income tax Deduct work-related education expenses paid with tax-free scholarship, grant, or employer-provided educational assistance. Free income tax See Adjustments to Qualifying Work-Related Education Expenses, next. Free income tax Adjustments to Qualifying Work-Related Education Expenses If you pay qualifying work-related education expenses with certain tax-free funds, you cannot claim a deduction for those amounts. Free income tax You must reduce the qualifying expenses by the amount of such expenses allocable to the tax-free educational assistance. Free income tax Tax-free educational assistance. Free income tax   This includes: The tax-free part of scholarships and fellowships (see Tax-Free Scholarships and Fellowships in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Pell grants (see Pell Grants and Other Title IV Need-Based Education Grants in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions). Free income tax Employer-provided educational assistance (see chapter 11, Employer-Provided Educational Assistance ), Veterans' educational assistance (see Veterans' Benefits in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), and Any other nontaxable (tax-free) payments (other than gifts or inheritances) received as educational assistance. Free income tax Amounts that do not reduce qualifying work-related education expenses. Free income tax   Do not reduce the qualifying work-related education expenses by amounts paid with funds the student receives as: Payment for services, such as wages, A loan, A gift, An inheritance, or A withdrawal from the student's personal savings. Free income tax Also, do not reduce the qualifying work-related education expenses by any scholarship or fellowship reported as income on the student's return or any scholarship which, by its terms, cannot be applied to qualifying work-related education expenses. Free income tax How To Treat Reimbursements How you treat reimbursements depends on the arrangement you have with your employer. Free income tax There are two basic types of reimbursement arrangements—accountable plans and nonaccountable plans. Free income tax You can tell the type of plan you are reimbursed under by the way the reimbursement is reported on your Form W-2. Free income tax Note. Free income tax The following rules about reimbursement arrangements also apply to expense allowances received from your employer. Free income tax Accountable Plans To be an accountable plan, your employer's reimbursement arrangement must require you to meet all three of the following rules. Free income tax Your expenses must have a business connection. Free income tax This means your expenses must be deductible under the rules for qualifying work-related education explained earlier. Free income tax You must adequately account to your employer for your expenses within a reasonable period of time. Free income tax You must return any reimbursement or allowance in excess of the expenses accounted for within a reasonable period of time. Free income tax If you are reimbursed under an accountable plan, your employer should not include any reimbursement in your income in box 1 of your Form W-2. Free income tax If your employer included reimbursements in box 1 of your Form W-2 and you meet all three rules for accountable plans, ask your employer for a corrected Form W-2. Free income tax Accountable plan rules not met. Free income tax   Even though you are reimbursed under an accountable plan, some of your expenses may not meet all three rules for accountable plans. Free income tax Those expenses that fail to meet the three rules are treated as having been reimbursed under a Nonaccountable Plan (discussed later). Free income tax Expenses equal reimbursement. Free income tax   Under an accountable plan, if your expenses equal your reimbursement, you do not complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Free income tax Because your expenses and reimbursements are equal, you do not have a deduction. Free income tax Excess expenses. Free income tax   If your expenses are more than your reimbursement, you can deduct your excess expenses. Free income tax This is discussed later, under Deducting Business Expenses . Free income tax Allocating your reimbursements for meals. Free income tax   Because your excess meal expenses are subject to the 50% limit, you must figure them separately from your other expenses. Free income tax If your employer paid you a single amount to cover both meals and other expenses, you must allocate the reimbursement so that you can figure your excess meal expenses separately. Free income tax Make the allocation as follows. Free income tax Divide your meal expenses by your total expenses. Free income tax Multiply your total reimbursement by the result from (1). Free income tax This is the allocated reimbursement for your meal expenses. Free income tax Subtract the amount figured in (2) from your total reimbursement. Free income tax The difference is the allocated reimbursement for your other expenses of qualifying work-related education. Free income tax Example. Free income tax Your employer paid you an expense allowance of $2,000 under an accountable plan. Free income tax The allowance was to cover all of your expenses of traveling away from home to take a 2-week training course for work. Free income tax There was no indication of how much of the reimbursement was for each type of expense. Free income tax Your actual expenses equal $2,500 ($425 for meals + $700 lodging + $150 transportation expenses + $1,225 for books and tuition). Free income tax Using the steps listed above, allocate the reimbursement between the $425 meal expenses and the $2,075 other expenses. Free income tax   1. Free income tax $425 meal expenses  $2,500 total expenses = . Free income tax 17   2. Free income tax $2,000 (reimbursement)×. Free income tax 17     =$340 (allocated reimbursement for meal expenses)   3. Free income tax $2,000 (reimbursement)−$340 (meals)     = $1,660 (allocated reimbursement for other qualifying work-related education expenses) Your excess meal expenses are $85 ($425 − $340) and your excess other expenses are $415 ($2,075 − $1,660). Free income tax After you apply the 50% limit to your meals, you have a deduction for work-related education expenses of $458 (($85 × 50%) + $415). Free income tax Nonaccountable Plans Your employer will combine the amount of any reimbursement or other expense allowance paid to you under a nonaccountable plan with your wages, salary, or other pay and report the total in box 1 of your Form W-2. Free income tax You can deduct your expenses regardless of whether they are more than, less than, or equal to your reimbursement. Free income tax This is discussed later under Deducting Business Expenses . Free income tax An illustrated example of a nonaccountable plan, using Form 2106-EZ, is shown at the end of this chapter. Free income tax Reimbursements for nondeductible expenses. Free income tax   Reimbursements you received for nondeductible expenses are treated as paid under a nonaccountable plan. Free income tax You must include them in your income. Free income tax For example, you must include in your income reimbursements your employer gave you for expenses of education that: You need to meet the minimum educational requirements for your job, or Is part of a program of study that can qualify you for a new trade or business. Free income tax   For more information on accountable and nonaccountable plans, see chapter 6 of Publication 463. Free income tax Deducting Business Expenses Self-employed persons and employees report their business expenses differently. Free income tax The following information explains what forms you must use to deduct the cost of your qualifying work-related education as a business expense. Free income tax Self-Employed Persons If you are self-employed, you must report the cost of your qualifying work-related education on the appropriate form used to report your business income and expenses (generally Schedule C (Form 1040), Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), or Schedule F (Form 1040)). Free income tax If your education expenses include expenses for a car or truck, travel, or meals, report those expenses the same way you report other business expenses for those items. Free income tax See the instructions for the form you file for information on how to complete it. Free income tax Employees If you are an employee, you can deduct the cost of qualifying work-related education only if you: Did not receive (and were not entitled to receive) any reimbursement from your employer, Were reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan (amount is included in box 1 of Form W-2), or Received reimbursement under an accountable plan, but the amount received was less than your expenses for which you claimed reimbursement. Free income tax If either (1) or (2) applies, you can deduct the total qualifying cost. Free income tax If (3) applies, you can deduct only the qualifying costs that were more than your reimbursement. Free income tax In order to deduct the cost of your qualifying work-related education as a business expense, include the amount with your deduction for any other employee business expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21, or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 7. Free income tax (Special rules for expenses of certain performing artists and fee-basis officials and for impairment-related work expenses are explained later. Free income tax ) This deduction (except for impairment-related work expenses of disabled individuals) is subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit that applies to most miscellaneous itemized deductions. Free income tax Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Free income tax   To figure your deduction for employee business expenses, including qualifying work-related education, you generally must complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Free income tax Form not required. Free income tax   Do not complete either Form 2106 or 2106-EZ if: All reimbursements, if any, are included in box 1 of your Form W-2, and You are not claiming travel, transportation, meal, or entertainment expenses. Free income tax   If you meet both of these requirements, enter the expenses directly on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21, or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 7. Free income tax (Special rules for expenses of certain Performing Artists and Fee-Basis Officials and for Impairment-Related Work Expenses are explained later. Free income tax ) Using Form 2106-EZ. Free income tax   This form is shorter and easier to use than Form 2106. Free income tax Generally, you can use this form if: All reimbursements, if any, are included in box 1 of your Form W-2, and You are using the standard mileage rate if you are claiming vehicle expenses. Free income tax   If you do not meet both of these requirements, use Form 2106. Free income tax Performing Artists and Fee-Basis Officials If you are a qualified performing artist, or a state (or local) government official who is paid in whole or in part on a fee basis, you can deduct the cost of your qualifying work-related education as an adjustment to gross income rather than as an itemized deduction. Free income tax Include the cost of your qualifying work-related education with any other employee business expenses on Form 1040, line 24, or Form 1040NR, line 35. Free income tax You do not have to itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040 or 1040NR), and, therefore, the deduction is not subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. Free income tax You must complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ to figure your deduction even if you meet the requirements described earlier under Form not required . Free income tax For more information on qualified performing artists, see chapter 6 of Publication 463. Free income tax Impairment-Related Work Expenses If you are disabled and have impairment-related work expenses that are necessary for you to be able to get qualifying work-related education, you can deduct these expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 28, or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 14. Free income tax They are not subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. Free income tax To deduct these expenses, you must complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ even if you meet the requirements described earlier under Form not required . Free income tax For more information on impairment-related work expenses, see chapter 6 of Publication 463. Free income tax Recordkeeping You must keep records as proof of any deduction claimed on your tax return. Free income tax Generally, you should keep your records for 3 years from the date of filing the tax return and claiming the deduction. Free income tax If you are an employee who is reimbursed for expenses and you give your records and documentation to your employer, you do not have to keep duplicate copies of this information. Free income tax However, you should keep your records for a 3-year period if: You claim deductions for expenses that are more than your reimbursement, Your employer does not use adequate accounting procedures to verify expense accounts, You are related to your employer, or Your expenses are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan. Free income tax Examples of records to keep. Free income tax   If any of the above cases apply to you, you must be able to prove that your expenses are deductible. Free income tax You should keep adequate records or have sufficient evidence that will support your expenses. Free income tax Estimates or approximations do not qualify as proof of an expense. Free income tax Some examples of what can be used to help prove your expenses are: Documents, such as transcripts, course descriptions, catalogs, etc. Free income tax , showing periods of enrollment in educational institutions, principal subjects studied, and descriptions of educational activity. Free income tax Canceled checks and receipts to verify amounts you spent for: Tuition and books, Meals and lodging while away from home overnight for educational purposes, Travel and transportation, and Other education expenses. Free income tax Statements from your employer explaining whether the education was necessary for you to keep your job, salary, or status; how the education helped maintain or improve skills needed in your job; how much reimbursement you received; and, if you are a teacher, the type of certificate and subjects taught. Free income tax Complete information about any scholarship or fellowship grants, including amounts you received during the year. Free income tax Illustrated Example Victor Jones teaches math at a private high school in North Carolina. Free income tax He was selected to attend a 3-week math seminar at a university in California. Free income tax The seminar will improve his skills in his current job and is qualifying work-related education. Free income tax He was reimbursed for his expenses under his employer's nonaccountable plan, so his reimbursement of $2,100 is included in the wages shown in box 1 of his Form W-2. Free income tax Victor will file Form 1040. Free income tax His actual expenses for the seminar are as follows:   Lodging   $1,050     Meals   526     Airfare   550     Taxi fares   50     Tuition and books   400     Total Expenses   $2,576   Victor files Form 2106-EZ with his tax return. Free income tax He shows his expenses for the seminar in Part I of the form. Free income tax He enters $1,650 ($1,050 + $550 + $50) on line 3 to account for his lodging, airfare, and taxi fares. Free income tax He enters $400 on line 4 for his tuition and books. Free income tax On the line provided for total meals and entertainment expenses, Victor enters $526 for meal expenses. Free income tax He multiplies that amount by 50% and enters the result, $263, on line 5. Free income tax On line 6, Victor totals the amounts from lines 3 through 5. Free income tax He carries the total, $2,313, to Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21. Free income tax Since he does not claim any vehicle expenses, Victor leaves Part II blank. Free income tax His filled-in form is shown on the next page. Free income tax This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free income tax Please click the link to view the image. Free income tax Form 2106-EZ for V. Free income tax Jones Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications