What Can I Deduct on Income Tax as a Railroad Conductor?

Union dues for railway workers are a deductible employee expense.
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Most of the deductions available to railroad conductors are no different than anyone else. As a transportation worker, though, you get a better deduction for out-of-town meals than most employees do. You can also write off any money you spend on your uniform. However, you'll have to itemize to claim the deductions.


Travel Expenses

You have deductible travel expenses any time you're away from home on business long enough to need sleep. Lodging, food and incidental costs -- taxi or subway expenses, dry-cleaning your clothes, tips -- are also deductible. Normally the IRS only lets travelers deduct 50 percent of their food expenses, but as a conductor, you can write off 80 percent.


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The IRS is strict about deductions for buying work clothes. The clothes have to be distinctive, mandatory for work and not something you'd normally wear away from the job. Fortunately, the IRS does list transportation workers as the kind of employees whose uniforms qualify. If you've bought your own work clothes, the cost may be a write-off.


Taking Deductions

If the railroad reimburses you for your expenses, you don't get to deduct them. If there's no reimbursement, you can write the bills off, but only as an itemized "2 percent" deduction. First, you add up all the deductions in this category, which also include tax preparation fees and union dues. Then subtract 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. Whatever remains is your deduction.