Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Military Employee Business Expenses

Summary and Exercises

Summary

This lesson explained deductions of special interest to members of the Armed Forces and how to claim them.

Travel expenses must be ordinary and necessary expenses of temporarily traveling away from home for a person's job and must be greater than the total of any advances, allowances, and reimbursements received for such expenses.

  • Travel and transportation expenses can be taken as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A, subject to the 2 percent AGI limit.
  • Travel expenses for meals, lodging, and incidentals are only deductible if they are incurred while temporarily away from home on business. Assignments that last, or are realistically expected to last, more than one year are not considered temporary.
  • Commuting and other personal expenses are not deductible.
  • Travel costs associated with deductible educational expenses are treated like other business travel costs.

Form 2106 and Schedule A are used to figure and claim the itemized deduction for employee business expenses that exceed reimbursement. Service members are required to file Form 2106 to claim job-related travel, transportation, meals, or entertainment expenses, or when they have been paid by their employer for any expenses being deducted on Schedule A.

National Guard and Reserve members who travel more than 100 miles away from home and stay overnight to attend drill or reserve meetings can deduct travel expenses as an adjustment to income. All other deductible miscellaneous itemized deductions discussed in this lesson are deducted on Schedule A as a Miscellaneous Itemized Deduction, subject to the 2 percent AGI limit.

To claim these expenses, service members must itemize using Form 1040, Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.