Can I Deduct a Training Class From My Taxes?

by Kevin Johnston
Learning increases your chances of promotions and decreases your taxes.

If you attend seminars, training sessions and classes related to your employment, you may be overlooking some important deductions you can take off of your taxable income each year. You can write off training expenses only if the training relates to your job and your employer did not reimburse you.

Community College Classes

You can deduct the full cost of course fees, enrollment fees, books and even transportation for community college courses. The course offered must be in your line of work and be related directly to your job at the time you take the class. There is no limit on the number of classes you can write off or the number of books. All supplies such as notebooks and pens are tax-deductible.

Remote Company Training

If your company provides training out of town, you can write off your expenses for transportation and lodging to attend that training. You can also write off half of your meal expenses during that trip. This applies even if the training itself is free and you receive your salary while attending. If the training occurs in town and you have to find lodging to stay near the training locale to avoid a long commute, you can write off that expense as well.

Online Training

Much modern training occurs online. You can take professional development courses on your computer. The fees for these courses are tax-deductible. If you purchase any software in conjunction with these courses, you may deduct that also. You may deduct fees for online mentoring and coaching.

Continuing Education

You don’t have to take formal training classes. You can write off the expense for self-training as well. This includes professional print publications, online subscriptions to professional sites, dues and fees for professional organizations that offer updates and tips for improving your work, and club meetings where you discuss the latest developments in your profession.

Itemizing Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service does not require you to itemize deductions to deduct education expenses. The deduction is an adjustment to income. You do not have to fill out Schedule A. Simply take the deduction off your income before figuring taxes.

About the Author

Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.

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