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Continuing Medical Education tax deductions

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Jayson Mullin, a partner at a tax debt resolution company called . We have no financial relationship.]

As with other professions, tax deductions for medical professionals must meet specific guidelines that have been set forth by the IRS. The deductions that you are allowed to take will depend on whether you are self-employed, an employee or both, and the expenses must be necessary for your profession. Here are some guidelines that will help you determine if you can deduct some of your job costs when you file your taxes.

Supplies

In order for supplies to qualify as a deduction, they must be something that is ordinarily used in your profession and necessary for your job. If your employer reimburses you for the cost, then you cannot deduct it. Typical medical deductions may include your answering service, referral services, medical equipment, office supplies and your briefcase. If you buy something that costs more than $100, then keep it in a different list because it may be recovered separately.

Out of Town Expenses

If you have to travel out of town for your job, then your travel expenses can be deducted from your taxes. In order for this to qualify as a deduction, you must travel away from home, which is defined as the city in which you work. If you spend the night out of town, you can deduct mileage, food, lodging, valet services, phone calls and tips. If you drove to your destination, write down the business miles that you traveled. You must keep your lodging receipts in order to use them as a deduction, but you are not required to keep receipts for expenses that are less than $75. Just be sure that you write down how much you spent on your business trip, and keep lodging and meal expenses separate.

Vehicle Travel Expenses

While you cannot deduct the miles that you drive from your home to your office every day, you can include mileage from trips to temporary work sites. If you are driving to different locations for your job, you need to keep a detailed journal of your expenses. Your journal should include the date, the purpose of the trip, the place where you are going, the odometer readings when you leave and when you arrive, and the number of business miles that you have traveled. You should also keep the receipts for repairs, car insurance, gasoline and maintenance costs.

Telephone Expenses

You cannot deduct the basic service costs of your primary telephone line. However, you can deduct toll calls if they are related to your business, as well as the costs of a second line that is used in your office for business calls. These may include your answering service fees, paging service costs and pay phone fees.

Uniform Expenses

If your employer requires you to wear a uniform, you may be able to deduct its cost and upkeep from your taxes. In order for your uniform to qualify as a deduction, the IRS stipulates that it must be required by your employer and that it cannot be adapted to be worn as street wear. If a medical facility requires you to have an emblem, name or logo on your uniforms, then your uniforms may qualify as a deduction. You can also deduct your expenses for work shoes, dry cleaning and alterations.

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