Taxpayers can reduce taxable income by claiming certain expenses as tax deductions. Miscellaneous expenses are costs that qualify as tax deductions that do not fall into other tax deduction categories.
Defining Miscellaneous Expenses
The term "miscellaneous expense," applied generally, can refer to any expense that does fit other categories within financial records. For example, if you made a monthly budget to keep track of your living expenses and created categories for rent, utilities, food, transportation and entertainment, you might list the cost of buying a family member a birthday present as a miscellaneous expense as it does not fit into any other category. When discussing taxes, miscellaneous expenses refer to certain expenditures that you can subtract from your taxable income that don't fall into other categories like deductible taxes, charitable contributions or business use of a home or car.
Examples of Miscellaneous Expenses
There are many miscellaneous expenses that you may be able to take as a tax deduction to save money on income taxes. According to the Internal Revenue Service, miscellaneous expenses eligible for tax deductions include gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings, legal fees related to doing your job and producing income, amounts paid for tax preparation services, union dues and the cost of work clothes and uniforms, so long as they are not suitable for everyday wear.
Where to Claim Miscellaneous Expenses
If you incurred miscellaneous expenses that qualify for tax deductions, you must claim them on your tax return to get credit for them and reduce your taxable income. The IRS states that you can claim deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, the same form you must use to claim other itemized deductions.
Miscellaneous expenses that qualify for tax deductions are considered itemized deductions. When you file a tax return you must choose to use all of your itemized deductions or a standard deduction provided to all taxpayers. The standard deduction is $5,700 for single filers for 2010 tax returns and $11,400 for joint filters. For many taxpayers, the standard deduction is greater than the sum of itemized deductions.