Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How Does an Associate Dentist Deduct CE Course Cost?

I am a W-2 employee looking to do some CE courses which will likely run an excess of 2000 dollars this year.  I had read in a previous post that there is a ceiling of some sort to the deduction as an employee which is 2% of AGI.

So if I want to take a few of these CE courses which my employer will not pay for.  How should I go about documentation/setting things up to write off if possible?  One of the courses would require being out of state for a few days, an airplane trip and of course the course itself.  I know being an IC in this case would be best but what can one do otherwise?

Thank you.

When you say your employer won't pay for it, do you mean they won't pay for it in addition to your wages? If that's the case, will they pay for it and reduce your wages by the amount they pay? If they do that it's a win/win for both of you as they'll save payroll taxes as well. If they won't do that, then:

Total all of your unreimbursed employee business expenses including the cost of this CE and you may be able to deduct the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI - IF you are able to itemize deductions on your tax return.

All related expenses in taking the course will likely be deductible such as travel, meals, taxis, tips, lodging, etc.

Try to get your employer to pay it though in lieu of wages, that's your best bet.

How do you document costs for taxi, meals, tips etc.  Newbie here - Just hold on the direct receipts I guess?  What if you drive yourself to another state - save the gas receipt?

Receipts are always best and simply log the miles. If you can't get a receipt for a cash expense, note it on a sheet of paper where you're summarizing the trip and its purpose and it should suffice under audit as long as it's a reasonable amount.

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