Tax Deductions You Can't Claim

A deductible expense is one you can subtract from your taxable gross income, reducing your tax liability. Certain expenses are always deductible, while others can never be deducted.

tax non-deductible expenses

Most common non-deductible expenses:

  • Burial, funeral, and cemetery expenses

  • Capital expenses

  • Car licenses

  • Marriage licenses

  • Pet tags and registration fees

  • Rent payments

  • Travel expenses for another person

  • Personal disability insurance premiums

  • Personal living or family expenses

  • Late payment charges by a public utility

  • Federal income taxes

  • Adoption expenses (but they might qualify you for the Adoption Tax Credit)

  • Investment seminar and convention expenses

  • Wages never received

  • Lost vacation or sick time

  • Voluntary unemployment benefit fund contributions

  • Lost or misplaced cash or property

  • Losses from the sale of your home, furniture, car, or other personal property

  • Check-writing fees on a personal checking account

  • Membership dues for any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose (this does not include professional societies)

  • Cost of transportation between your home and your main or regular place of work

  • Fines or penalties paid to the government for violating a law

  • Health club expenses, even if your are required to stay in shape for your job

  • Homeowners' insurance premiums

  • Home security systems, assuming you do not have a home office in your home

  • Expenses related to attending a convention, seminar, or similar meeting for investment purposes

  • Life insurance premiums, unless they are part of an alimony payment

  • Lobbying expenses to influence legislation, to participate in any political campaign for or against a candidate, to influence the public in regard to elections, legislative matters, or referendums, or to communicate directly with branch office officials to influence official actions

  • Relief fund contributions

  • Lunches with co-workers, except while away on business

  • Expenses related to meals necessitated by working late unless you are out of town or it is part of entertaining clients

  • Legal expenses associated with gaining custody of your children

  • Legal expenses associated with civil or criminal charges resulting from a personal relationship

  • Fines and penalties you have to pay in damages in a personal injury suit

  • Legal fees associated with preparing a will

  • What you have to pay in a divorce settlement

  • Contributions made to a political candidate, campaign committee, or newsletter fund

  • Accounting certificate fees for the initial right to practice accounting

  • Bar exam fees and other incidental expenses in obtaining admission to the bar

  • Medical and dental license fees to obtain initial licensing

  • Professional reputation improvement expenses

  • Contributions made to a coworker who can not work due to illness or job-related injuries

  • Basic local telephone service charges for the first telephone line to your residence, regardless of whether it is used for business

  • Expenses associated with producing tax-exempt income

  • Interest on a debt incurred to purchase tax-exempt securities

  • Clothing for work that is not worn as a condition of employment or is suitable for everyday wear

  • Wristwatches (even if related to a job requirement)

  • Annual fees on personal credit cards

  • Finance charges on credit cards, installment contracts, and revolving charge accounts incurred for personal expenses

  • Most estate, inheritance, legacy, or other succession taxes

  • Gift taxes

Do you still have questions about deductible vs non-deductible expenses? Give us a call, we can help.