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  1. #1
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    Default Tax Deductions for Firemen?

    Hey group, TO EXCLUDE THE WHOLE MEAL DEBATE, what other tax deductions have you heard that are LEGAL for us to use?

    I say again, not talking about meals because it's a fine line!! I know you can use any equipment you use exclusive to your job (like a flashlight), but didn't know of any other deductions aside from equipment.

    Feel free to share your thoughts, and Bossier Bobby please refrain from publishing a thesis on this topic. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member IronsMan53's Avatar
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    In South Carolina, volunteer firefighters who earn enough points for participation earn a $3,000 state tax deduction.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

  3. #3
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    I have deducted in the past:
    -firefighting magazine subscriptions
    -training that I pay for out of my pocket that is not reimbursed by the department
    -mileage for training that is not reimbursed by the dept.
    -clothing/uniform maintenance (dry cleaning, tailoring, etc) that is not covered by uniform allowance or otherwise reimbursed by the dept.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    A retired assistant chief told me that he used to deduct his telephone bill, at that time. He was required by his employer (fire dept.) to have a telephone for recall and shift change notifications. That was before the era of cell phones.

    If you are required to have a cell phone, landline, etc, by your fire dept., ask your tax preparer if it is deductible and what parts of the bill are deductible.

  5. #5
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    3 letters: use your CPA or answer to the IRS
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  6. #6
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Cell phone usage while on duty
    Uniform expenses i.e. dry cleaning, new purchases, or alterations/repairs
    Hair cuts
    Hygene (toiletries purchased like razors, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste...)
    Internet, computer. (at home use for the job)
    Mileage (round trip)
    Non reimbursed training
    Batteries

    I have a list that my tax guy made, I'll try to put it up
    IAFF

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Deductibles:
    Trade magazines
    Mileage to and from callbacks
    Mileage and expenses (airfare, meals and lodging) for training.
    Mileage to and from second jobs

    Personal supplies for station use (laundry detergent for washing uniforms razors, shave cream, toothpaste, shampoo , deodorant etc.)
    Driver's license renewal
    Renewal of EMS certification if you are an EMT or a Paramedic
    Educational expenses (textbooks and such for promotion, exam fees, travel to exam sites, college courses toward a fire science degree, etc.)

    Equipment used on the job and not provided by the FD
    Uniform cleaning and maintenance
    Union and Asssociation dues
    Paging services
    A percentage of Internet access
    A percentage of cell phone charges

    If you own your home, real estate taxes and mortgage interest. Some states allow for a rental deduction on the state taxes.
    Motor vehicle excise taxes are deductible if your state has them.

    My wife works for an accounting firm.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Deductibles:
    Trade magazines
    Mileage to and from callbacks
    Mileage and expenses (airfare, meals and lodging) for training.
    Mileage to and from second jobs

    Personal supplies for station use (laundry detergent for washing uniforms razors, shave cream, toothpaste, shampoo , deodorant etc.)
    Driver's license renewal
    Renewal of EMS certification if you are an EMT or a Paramedic
    Educational expenses (textbooks and such for promotion, exam fees, travel to exam sites, college courses toward a fire science degree, etc.)

    Equipment used on the job and not provided by the FD
    Uniform cleaning and maintenance
    Union and Asssociation dues
    Paging services
    A percentage of Internet access
    A percentage of cell phone charges

    If you own your home, real estate taxes and mortgage interest. Some states allow for a rental deduction on the state taxes.
    Motor vehicle excise taxes are deductible if your state has them.

    My wife works for an accounting firm.
    Solid advice Chief, thanks.

    I DO know, as a paid guy, using my mileage for work every day back and forth to the firehouse IS NOT qualified as a deduction. What is, though, is if I show up to MY ASSIGNED FIREHOUSE, and they detail me somewhere else, then you can deduct that mileage as long as the city doesn't reimburse.

    I've heard the stuff about haircuts, but spoken from a close friend, you may use a portion but not all, since a normal person typically gets haircuts. Same thing with cell phone use, if you use it strictly for work you can deduct the whole bill. If you use it for work and personal, then just a percentage.

    Thanks for the responses guys, I think I've used all the deductions I can. Stay safe....

  9. #9
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Short answer: It's unlikely that you have any expenses that you can save any money on. There are are legitimate deductions, but they don't come off the top. Just because somebody says they've written off "x" doesn't mean it's legit; they just may not have been audited.

    Shorter answer: Consult a tax specialist; not an online chat forum.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Short answer: It's unlikely that you have any expenses that you can save any money on. There are are legitimate deductions, but they don't come off the top. Just because somebody says they've written off "x" doesn't mean it's legit; they just may not have been audited.

    Shorter answer: Consult a tax specialist; not an online chat forum.
    Chill dude....just making conversation.

    Marshal, please don't tell me your another Forum Cop. I usually enjoy your responses, relax a little though. It's tax time, so why not have a casual conversation about it around the virtual kitchen table?

  11. #11
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    If you drive from after work to college, mileage is deductible

    Problem now a days you do not have enough deductions to get over the standard deduction

  12. #12
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    I've heard the stuff about haircuts, but spoken from a close friend, you may use a portion but not all, since a normal person typically gets haircuts.
    If your department has a grooming standard, then you are going to be cutting your hair more than a normal person would. In other words, Joe the sandwich maker can put off a haircut for a couple of weeks, whereas you cannot. No?

    Double check that one bro
    IAFF

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    Hopefully if it passes Kentucky Certified ( 150Hrs ) Vol. Firefighters will be getting a much needed $1000 dollar Bonus on their returns.
    Do not let the ghosts of our fallen brothers gaze upon you and ask " What have you done to my profession?" FTB DTRT EGH

  14. #14
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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  15. #15
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    great link...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  16. #16
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    Whether or not someone else got away with claiming "x" or not, I really don't care. As far as consulting a tax consultant, well, that person is only as good as the information I provide them. But what a thread like this does, is educate me on what I can bring forth to my tax consultant, something I may not have though of. Then that very same consultant can look it up and find out if it's a legit deduction. That's what Im paying them for.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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  17. #17
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    (Not a tax expert, or do I play one on TV)

    One thing about uniform deductions... It was explained to me that uniforms are deductible, but the amount(s) may depend upon what type of reimbursement (if any) received from the employer.
    • If you don't get any type of clothing/uniform reimbursement, then all costs are deductible.
    • If you do get a reimbursement, and that reimbursement is taxed (just like your paycheck is taxed), then all costs are deductible. (The reimbursement then simply becomes part of your wages.)
    • If you do get a reimbursement, but that check is NOT taxed, then only costs over/above that amount may be deducted. (The reimbursement is "the employer providing uniforms".)

    For example, say you get a $500 tax free check for uniforms, and you spent $600 last year for cleaning/replacement/etc., then you can deduct $100 of those expenses.

    I get two checks, one designated for replacement, one for maintenance. Therefore I could declare those amounts seperately if needed to makimize my deduction. But, mine are taxed, so they simply get added on to my wages, and if I spend $10 or $1000, I deduct what I spend.
    Last edited by mrpita; 01-30-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: spelling/formatting
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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