Probation fees cover the administrative costs for an offender who has been released from jail subject to good behavior while under supervision. In most cases, probation fees are paid once a month to a county courthouse. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), probation fees are not tax deductible. Only legal fees related to doing or keeping a job are tax deductible.
Necessary Business Fees
The IRS does not consider probation fees to be necessary business fees. The IRS allows a taxpayer to deduct legal fees paid to local and state governments for licenses related to his trade or business. Probation fees are not tax deductible and cannot be itemized on Schedule A of federal tax Form 1040.
According to IRS Code 162, "No deduction shall be allowed under subsection (a) for any fine or similar penalty paid to a government for the violation of any law." Since a probation fee is a penalty for violating the law, it is not tax deductible. Even if a friend or a family member pays the probation fee on behalf of the offender, the fee is not tax deductible.
Work-Related Legal Fees
The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct legal fees directly related to running and maintaining a business. Even though an individual on probation can be employed, the probation fee is not directly related to the employer's business. Probation fees are not work-related legal fees and are not tax deductible.
The IRS considers probation fees to be personal in nature. Personal expenses cannot be disguised as work expenses for the purposes of tax deductions. Probation fees, government fines, bribes, political contributions and payments to social organizations are not tax deductible.