Tax Deductions for High School Coaches

A high school football coach watching his team play.
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If you choose to itemize your deductions on your tax return, each allowable expense that you write off helps to lower your taxable income. High school coaches can deduct certain work-related expenses incurred in connection to performing the job. These expenses can add up, which is why many athletic coaches document this information throughout the season in preparation for tax time.


Business Deductions

If you are self-employed as a coach for a high school athletic organization, you can deduct costs that are a common and acceptable part of the job. For example, your travel expenses to games, practices and other events that are directly related to coaching are deductible. Other costs that you pay out-of-pocket for, such as meals, hotel fees, uniforms, sports equipment and related expenses, are deductible as well.

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Employee Expenses

If you are employed by the high school as a coach, any expenses that have been reimbursed to you by your employer are not deductible on your income tax return. If you have not been reimbursed, however, you can still deduct certain out-of-pocket expenses. For example, if you are traveling to a game with your team and you leave from your primary work location, these travel costs are deductible. You might also be able to deduct the cost of uniforms, equipment and other coaching supplies if you paid for them out-of-pocket and were not reimbursed by the school.


Continuing Education

Whether you are considered an employee or an independent contractor, you can deduct out-of-pocket continuing education expenses that are related to your profession as a high school coach. These higher education courses must improve your skills as a coach or either be required by your employer or by law. You can deduct the costs for tuition, books, supplies, research and travel costs.