In order to use miscellaneous deductions to their full benefit, you must first understand what the IRS considers to be allowable miscellaneous deductions.
Allowable miscellaneous deductions come in three categories; employer expenses for which you were not reimbursed, tax preparation fees, and other expenses.
Any expenses related to your job that came out of your own pocket, without reimbursement from your employer, can be allowable miscellaneous expenses if they meet the criteria of being ordinary and necessary. An expense is ordinary if it is a commonly accepted expense in your business field. For instance, if you work for an accountant and attempt to claim that you purchased a bulldozer for your employer and were never reimbursed, the bulldozer would be unacceptable because it is not ordinary for an accountant to need one.
A necessary expense is appropriate and helpful to you in the performance of your job. Again, the bulldozer for the accountant would not be acceptable.
Most taxpayers are aware that expenses like entertainment and business related meals are covered under allowable miscellaneous deductions. So are things like business journals, work related classes, legal fees, and licenses. The IRS also allows for things like uniforms that you must purchase for work and the costs of medical examinations required by your employer. Even thing like – purchasing a passport because you have to go overseas for your job – is an allowable miscellaneous expense. So, it is important to be very thorough when adding up business expenses for which you have paid, but not been reimbursed