Can I deduct expenses I had for board exams prep courses?
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Can I deduct expenses I had for board exams prep courses?

I had to pay for prep books and classes to take a national board exam, can I add those as deductions? if so, where can I add them?
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Can I deduct expenses I had for board exams prep courses?

It depends. If it qualifies you for a new trade of business, then no, it is not deductible

You can deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as business expenses. This is education that meets at least one of the following two tests.

  • The education is required by your employer or the law to keep your present salary, status, or job. The required education must serve a bona fide business purpose of your employer.

  • The education maintains or improves skills needed in your present work.

However, even if the education meets one or both of the above tests, it is not qualifying work-related education 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 deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as a business expense even if the education could lead to a degree.

Use Figure 27-A as a quick check to see if your education qualifies.


Education That Qualifies You for a New Trade or Business

Education that is part of a program of study that will qualify you for a new trade or business is not qualifying work-related education and is not a job related expense. This is true even if you do not plan to enter that trade or business.

If you are an employee, a change of duties that involves the same general kind of work is not a new trade or business.


Bar or CPA Review Course

Review courses to prepare for the bar examination or the certified public accountant (CPA) examination are not qualifying work-related education. They are part of a program of study that can qualify you for a new profession.

Teaching and Related Duties

All teaching and related duties are considered the same general kind of work. A change in duties in any of the following ways is not considered a change to a new business.

  • Elementary school teacher to secondary school teacher.

  • Teacher of one subject, such as biology, to teacher of another subject, such as art.

  • Classroom teacher to guidance counselor.

  • Classroom teacher to school administrator.

For the IRS information, click on Qualifying Work-Related Education - IRS.gov

To enter unreimbursed job-related expenses, click on Where do I enter job-related employee expenses? (Form 2106)

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