Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

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TruHoosier
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Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby TruHoosier » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:07 pm

Hey guys, it occurred to me last night that I might have made a big mistake on my taxes. I never considered trying to write off all the various fees and costs that I incurred from LSAT-related expenses. As far as I can tell, I spent well over $1,000 on an LSAT class, registering for the LSAT twice, study books, etc., etc. I am guessing this would have really impacted my return, which was pretty weak this year.

Should I start filing an amendment?

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dr123
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby dr123 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:07 pm

I dont think LSAT prep materials are tax deductable

SupraVln180
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby SupraVln180 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:08 pm

dr123 wrote:I dont think LSAT prep materials are tax deductable


Yes they are, I wrote my whole Testmasters class off. I didn't write my books off though.

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TruHoosier
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby TruHoosier » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:28 pm

Yeah, I figured the class would be. What about fees though, like cost of taking the LSAT, registering for CAS, application fees, etc.?

R1chardParker
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby R1chardParker » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:31 pm

Under what part of the tax code do you think it is deductible? I really don't believe they are..

nelaw2010
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby nelaw2010 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:37 pm

NOT tax deductible. Only deductible if training for current job. Not deductible if training for a new job (being a lawyer).

Don't believe me? Google it.

Once ur an attorney, and u take continuing ed law classes, that will be tax deductible.

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dr123
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby dr123 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:38 pm

Unrelated, but you can write off clothes you buy for job interviews

nelaw2010
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby nelaw2010 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:40 pm

And travel for job interviews. And meals while traveling for interviews. And hotel!

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TruHoosier
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby TruHoosier » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:53 pm

I just spoke with a friend who is an expert on this kind of thing.

The answer is definitely not a definitive no. It might be aggressive to claim all of these things - even the class - but it mostly depends on your circumstances.

If you're planning on leaving your job for law school, you don't have much basis to write off LS-related expenses. But if you're getting your law degree to supplement your current job, you might have a case in writing off these expenses. If it's a situation where you HAVE to get a law degree to keep your job and your company won't pay for it, you definitely should write off LS-related expenses. I imagine if the IRS pressed you, you could argue that you felt like you needed to get a law degree to keep your current job or remain competitive in your company's ranks.

I've done some Googling and it seems to support what he said.

I'm writing off the class and maybe a few other LS expenses, but only because I am going to be a part-time student who is employed full time. I could argue that my law degree will be used for my current job, as well. I guess what this comes down to is, whether you feel like the IRS is going to come after you. I think I'm fine writing these things off given that I am only going part time.

This is something that varies probably on a case-by-case basis.

R1chardParker
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Re: Writing law school-related materials off on your taxes

Postby R1chardParker » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:05 pm

I would consult a tax professional before attempting this (I have done some research into this but am not a tax professional- so please don't blindly listen to me: do your own homework or hire a professional). I believe that law school expenses are never deductible because they qualify you for a new profession (practicing law). Even if you never intend to practice law but intend to enhance your performance in a job related to the legal industry, because you would be qualified to get a job in a profession that you were not able to before, they disallow the write-off. In some cases, degrees such as MBAs may be tax deductible if you are pursuing it part-time and remain at your current job.




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