Firefighters place their lives on the line when needed to battle blazes, assist with medical support and aid in vehicle accident extractions. The lengths firefighters go to in order to perform their job is one that is challenging and also costly at times. Specialized equipment and gear is not always supplied to the firefighter by the fire company, which is why firefighters need to keep good records so those items can be used as tax deductions to lower earned income.
Boots required for use when fighting fire need to be specially rated to withstand heat and sharp objects and provide waterproof protection. The specialized boots are typically provided to firefighters; however, seasoned professionals prefer to have more than one pair so that a dry set of boots is always available for use. This is one item that can be deducted as a charitable contribution for volunteer firefighters or as an un-reimbursed business expense for paid firefighters.
Bunker gear is the fireproof jacket and pants required to protect firefighters when they are battling blazes or working around dangerous objects. Just as with boots, one set of bunker gear is generally supplied, but many firefighters opt to purchase another set to have at the ready. Deducting the cost of additional bunker gear is allowed as either a charitable deduction or un-reimbursed business expense depending on whether the firefighter is paid or serves as a volunteer.
Training and Continuing Education
Paid and volunteer firefighters are placed into training classes on a routine basis to keep them abreast of changes in procedures, policies or chemical preparedness. Though training is routine, many firefighters choose to strengthen their skills by taking additional classes in specialized areas of firefighting. These educational classes, courses and seminars can be deducted.
A mileage deduction is allowed for volunteer firefighters, including paid firefighters who volunteer outside of their paid positions. The mileage driving to and from the fire station or fire can be deducted come tax time. The deduction is calculated using the IRS standard mileage deduction for charitable purposes; which was 14 cents per mile for 2012.