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12th Man
Returning Member

Education deduction(self-employment)

I have read the rules regarding education expenses multiple times, but I'm seeking help understanding this situation because what I'm being told is different from how I interpret the rules.


Lets say you don't own your business yet, however the only minimum requirement is to have a high school diploma.  Your current job is in a different field, but you're taking an online course that has components that help you understand the concepts of the trade and how to use the tools you'll need.  It's also going to teach you how to market yourself and your services to obtain clients.


Do you need to start your business before you buy the course in order for it to be deductible?  If not, how do you justify this course as an allowable expense?  I have been told it is allowed(as a marketing education expense, professional development, etc)  from more than one person, CPAs included.

2 Replies
Level 15

Education deduction(self-employment)

You can’t deduct education expenses for courses that qualify you for a different job. 

12th Man
Returning Member

Education deduction(self-employment)

I know, but what qualifies you really?  If it's credentials you're already qualified with a high school diploma.  If it's simply being taught something you're not currently doing with no gray area, then I guess there's no way around it.  But I have to believe more than one CPA can't be wrong and there is a way it's deductible.

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