As a security specialist, your job is to provide safety and asset protection. You may also work in corrections, ensuring the logistics of those incarcerated. At tax time, you don’t want to be lax on the deductions you can take.
You’ll receive a Form W-2 from your employer which will document your income and tax requirements. In order to decrease the amount you are responsible for paying in taxes, you should claim as many deductions as you are entitled to. You can deduct job related expenses that have not been reimbursed as a 2% miscellaneous itemized deduction. Make sure to keep all the receipts you have to prove your costs. Some deductions you may be eligible for include:
- Magazine and trade publication fees
- Dues for unions or associations
- Liability insurance protection
- Purchase price and upkeep, including cleaning, of required uniforms that are not suitable to wear as everyday outfits
- Licensing fees or occupational taxes charged by the state or local government, as long as they aren’t assessed for initial certification
- Specialized equipment that is replaceable within the year.
If you take any training courses or work related seminars, you may be able to deduct any costs you incur. The classes have to meet certain requirements and can’t qualify you to get a job in a new occupation or trade. Also, you can’t deduct educational expenses that help you establish minimum skills required for security positions.
Some security specialists work for themselves, or have their own security company. You are considered self-employed if you provide security on your own for certain events, private parties, or the like. In these situations, you will receive a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. If your net earnings are greater than $400, you have to pay self-employment tax on your reported income. You may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments to cover the amount stated on your Schedule C.
Self-employed security specialists can deduct additional expenses when they file Schedule C. Since you’d be considered as running your own operations, you are able to deduct many business expenses, similar to other small business owners. Expenses such as bad business debts, transportation costs, rental fees, and supplies, as well as other qualifying business expenses can be deducted on a Schedule C. Business trips for security specialists follow the same deduction requirements as other business trips, in reference to meals and lodging expenses.