What kind of Education can be Deducted as a Business Expense?


You may be able to deduct work-related education expenses paid during the year as an itemized deduction. To qualify for a deduction, your expenses must be for education that:

  1. Maintains or improves your job skills or
  2. Your employer or a law requires to keep your salary, status, or job.

The education must relate to your present work. Expenses that you can deduct include:

  • Tuition, books, supplies, lab fees, and similar items
  • Certain transportation and travel costs, and
  • Other educational expenses, such as the cost of research and typing

Self-employed business owners can deduct costs for their own education, subject to certain limitations in the same way as individual taxpayers.

To be deductible, you must be able to show that the education:

  • Maintains or improves skills required in your present work,” or
  • It is required by law or regulations for maintaining a license to practice, status, or job. For example, professionals can deduct costs for continuing education.

Your work-related education expenses is not deductible if it:

  • Is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements of your present trade or business, or
  • Is part of a program of study that will qualify you for a new trade or business.

You can find more information, and examples of what qualifies on the IRS website.

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Amy Northard, CPA

Amy Northard, CPA

Founder of The Accountant for Creatives®
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