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Publication 463

Completing Forms 2106 and 2106-EZ(p34)

This section briefly describes how employees complete Forms 2106 and 2106-EZ. Table 6-1 explains what the employer reports on Form W-2 and what the employee reports on Form 2106. The instructions for the forms have more information on completing them.
If you are self-employed, don’t file Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Report your expenses on Schedule C (Form 1040), Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), or Schedule F (Form 1040). See the instructions for the form that you must file.

Form 2106-EZ.(p34)

You may be able to use the shorter Form 2106-EZ to claim your employee business expenses. You can use this form if you meet all the following conditions.

Car expenses.(p34)

If you used a car to perform your job as an employee, you may be able to deduct certain car expenses. These are generally figured on Form 2106, Part II, and then claimed on Form 2106, Part I, line 1, Column A. Car expenses using the standard mileage rate can also be figured on Form 2106-EZ by completing Part II, and Part I, line 1.
Information on use of cars.(p34)
If you claim any deduction for the business use of a car, you must answer certain questions and provide information about the use of the car. The information relates to the following items. Employees must complete Form 2106, Part II, Section A, or Form 2106-EZ, Part II, to provide this information.
Standard mileage rate.(p34)
If you claim a deduction based on the standard mileage rate instead of your actual expenses, you must complete Form 2106, Part II, Section B. The amount on line 22 (Section B) is carried to Form 2106, Part I, line 1. In addition, on Part I, line 2, you can deduct parking fees and tolls that apply to the business use of the car. If you file Form 2106-EZ, complete Part I, line 1, for the standard mileage rate and line 2 for parking fees and tolls. See Standard Mileage Rate in chapter 4 for information on using this rate.
Actual expenses.(p34)
If you claim a deduction based on actual car expenses, you can’t use Form 2106-EZ. You must complete Form 2106, Part II, Section C. In addition, unless you lease your car, you must complete Section D to show your depreciation deduction and any section 179 deduction you claim.
If you are still using a car that is fully depreciated, continue to complete Section C. Since you have no depreciation deduction, enter zero on line 28. In this case, don’t complete Section D.
Car rentals.(p34)
If you claim car rental expenses on Form 2106, line 24a, you may have to reduce that expense by an inclusion amount as described in chapter 4. If so, you can show your car expenses and any inclusion amount as follows.
  1. Figure the inclusion amount without taking into account your business use percentage for the tax year.
  2. Report the inclusion amount from (1) on Form 2106, Part II, line 24b.
  3. Report on line 24c the net amount of car rental expenses (total car rental expenses minus the inclusion amount figured in (1)).
The net amount of car rental expenses will be adjusted on Form 2106, Part II, line 27, to reflect the percentage of business use for the tax year.

Transportation expenses.(p34)

Show your transportation expenses that didn’t involve overnight travel on Form 2106, line 2, Column A, or on Form 2106-EZ, Part I, line 2. Also include on this line business expenses you have for parking fees and tolls. Don’t include expenses of operating your car or expenses of commuting between your home and work.

Employee business expenses other than meals and entertainment.(p34)

Show your other employee business expenses on Form 2106, lines 3 and 4, Column A, or Form 2106-EZ, lines 3 and 4. Don’t include expenses for meals and entertainment on those lines. Line 4 is for expenses such as gifts, educational expenses (tuition and books), office-in-the-home expenses, and trade and professional publications.
If line 4 expenses are the only ones you are claiming, you received no reimbursements (or the reimbursements were all included in box 1 of your Form W-2), and the Special Rules discussed later don’t apply to you, don’t complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Claim these amounts directly on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21. List the type and amount of each expense on the dotted lines and include the total on line 21.

Meal and entertainment expenses.(p34)

Show the full amount of your expenses for business-related meals and entertainment on Form 2106, line 5, Column B. Include meals while away from your tax home overnight and other business meals and entertainment. Enter 50% of the line 8, Column B, meal and entertainment expenses on line 9, Column B.
If you file Form 2106-EZ, enter the full amount of your meals and entertainment on the line to the left of line 5 and multiply the total by 50% (0.50). Enter the result on line 5.
"Hours of service" limits.(p34)
If you are subject to the Department of Transportation's "hours of service" limits (as explained earlier under Individuals subject to "hours of service" limits in chapter 2), use 80% instead of 50% for meals while away from your tax home.


Enter on Form 2106, line 7 (you can’t use Form 2106-EZ) the amounts your employer (or third party) reimbursed you that weren’t reported to you in box 1 of your Form W-2. This includes any amount reported under code L in box 12 of Form W-2.
Allocating your reimbursement.(p34)
If you were reimbursed under an accountable plan and want to deduct excess expenses that weren’t reimbursed, you may have to allocate your reimbursement. This is necessary when your employer pays your reimbursement in the following manner. You must allocate that single payment so that you know how much to enter on Form 2106, line 7, Column A and Column B.


Rob's employer paid him an expense allowance of $12,000 this year under an accountable plan. The $12,000 payment consisted of $5,000 for airfare and $7,000 for meals, entertainment, and car expenses. The employer didn’t clearly show how much of the $7,000 was for the cost of deductible meals and entertainment. Rob actually spent $14,000 during the year ($5,500 for airfare, $4,500 for meals and entertainment, and $4,000 for car expenses).
Since the airfare allowance was clearly identified, Rob knows that $5,000 of the payment goes in Column A, line 7, of Form 2106. To allocate the remaining $7,000, Rob uses the worksheet from the Instructions for Form 2106. His completed worksheet follows.
Reimbursement Allocation Worksheet
(Keep for your records)
 1.Enter the total amount of reimbursements your employer gave you that weren’t reported to you in box 1 of Form W-2 $7,000 
 2.Enter the total amount of your expenses for the periods covered by this reimbursement 8,500 
 3.Of the amount on line 2, enter your total expense for meals and entertainment 4,500 
 4.Divide line 3 by line 2. Enter the result as a decimal (rounded to at least three places) 0.529  
 5.Multiply line 1 by line 4. Enter the result here and in Column B, line 7 3,703 
 6.Subtract line 5 from line 1. Enter the result here and in Column A, line 7 $3,297 
On line 7 of Form 2106, Rob enters $8,297 ($5,000 airfare and $3,297 of the $7,000) in Column A and $3,703 (of the $7,000) in Column B.

After you complete the form.(p35)

After you have completed your Form 2106 or 2106-EZ, follow the directions on that form to deduct your expenses on the appropriate line of your tax return. For most taxpayers, this is line 21 of Schedule A (Form 1040). However, if you are a government official paid on a fee basis, a performing artist, an Armed Forces reservist, or a disabled employee with impairment-related work expenses, see Special Rules, later.

Limits on employee business expenses.(p35)

Your employee business expenses may be subject to either of the limits described next. They are figured in the following order on the specified form.
1. Limit on meals and entertainment.(p35)
Certain meal and entertainment expenses are subject to a 50% limit. If you are an employee, you figure this limit on line 9 of Form 2106 or line 5 of Form 2106-EZ. (See 50% Limit in chapter 2.)
2. Limit on miscellaneous itemized deductions.(p35)
If you are an employee, deduct your employee business expenses (as figured on Form 2106 or 2106-EZ) on line 21 of Schedule A (Form 1040). Most miscellaneous itemized deductions, including employee business expenses, are subject to a 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. This limit is figured on line 26 of Schedule A (Form 1040).
3. Limit on total itemized deductions.(p35)
Total itemized deductions may be limited if your adjusted gross income is over: $313,800 if filing as marred filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $287,650 if head of household; $261,500 if single; or $156,900 if married filing separately. This limit is figured on the Itemized Deductions Worksheet found in the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040).

Special Rules(p35)

This section discusses special rules that apply only to Armed Forces reservists, government officials who are paid on a fee basis, performing artists, and disabled employees with impairment-related work expenses.

Armed Forces Reservists Traveling More Than 100 Miles From Home(p35)

If you are a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States and you travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with your performance of services as a member of the reserves, you can deduct your travel expenses as an adjustment to gross income rather than as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. The amount of expenses you can deduct as an adjustment to gross income is limited to the regular federal per diem rate (for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses) and the standard mileage rate (for car expenses) plus any parking fees, ferry fees, and tolls. See Per Diem and Car Allowances, earlier, for more information. Any expenses in excess of these amounts can be claimed only as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2% limit.

Member of a reserve component.(p35)

You are a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States if you are in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard Reserve; the Army National Guard of the United States; the Air National Guard of the United States; or the Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service.

How to report.(p35)

If you have reserve-related travel that takes you more than 100 miles from home, you should first complete Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. Then include your expenses for reserve travel over 100 miles from home, up to the federal rate, from Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, in the total on Form 1040, line 24. Subtract this amount from the total on Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, and deduct the balance as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.
You can’t deduct expenses of travel that doesn’t take you more than 100 miles from home as an adjustment to gross income. Instead, you must complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ and deduct those expenses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.

Officials Paid on a Fee Basis(p35)

Certain fee-basis officials can claim their employee business expenses whether or not they itemize their other deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).
Fee-basis officials are persons who are employed by a state or local government and who are paid in whole or in part on a fee basis. They can deduct their business expenses in performing services in that job as an adjustment to gross income rather than as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.
If you are a fee-basis official, include your employee business expenses from Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, in the total on Form 1040, line 24.

Expenses of Certain Performing Artists(p35)

If you are a performing artist, you may qualify to deduct your employee business expenses as an adjustment to gross income rather than as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements.
  1. During the tax year, you perform services in the performing arts as an employee for at least two employers.
  2. You receive at least $200 each from any two of these employers.
  3. Your related performing-arts business expenses are more than 10% of your gross income from the performance of those services.
  4. Your adjusted gross income isn’t more than $16,000 before deducting these business expenses.

Special rules for married persons.(p35)

If you are married, you must file a joint return unless you lived apart from your spouse at all times during the tax year. If you file a joint return, you must figure requirements (1), (2), and (3) separately for both you and your spouse. However, requirement (4) applies to your and your spouse's combined adjusted gross income.

Where to report.(p35)

If you meet all of the above requirements, you should first complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ. Then you include your performing-arts-related expenses from Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, in the total on Form 1040, line 24.
If you don’t meet all of the above requirements, you don’t qualify to deduct your expenses as an adjustment to gross income. Instead, you must complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ and deduct your employee business expenses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.

Impairment-Related Work Expenses of Disabled Employees(p35)

If you are an employee with a physical or mental disability, your impairment-related work expenses aren’t subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit that applies to most other employee business expenses. After you complete Form 2106 or 2106-EZ, enter your impairment-related work expenses from Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 28, and identify the type and amount of this expense on the line next to line 28. Enter your employee business expenses that are unrelated to your disability from Form 2106, line 10, or Form 2106-EZ, line 6, on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 21.
Impairment-related work expenses are your allowable expenses for attendant care at your workplace and other expenses in connection with your workplace that are necessary for you to be able to work.
You are disabled if you have:
You can deduct impairment-related expenses as business expenses if they are:

Example 1.(p36)

You are blind. You must use a reader to do your work. You use the reader both during your regular working hours at your place of work and outside your regular working hours away from your place of work. The reader's services are only for your work. You can deduct your expenses for the reader as business expenses.

Example 2.(p36)

You are deaf. You must use a sign language interpreter during meetings while you are at work. The interpreter's services are used only for your work. You can deduct your expenses for the interpreter as business expenses.

How To Get Tax Help(p36)

If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to and find resources that can help you right away.

Preparing and filing your tax return.(p36)

Find free options to prepare and file your return on or in your local community if you qualify.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need help preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. TCE volunteers specialize in answering questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
You can go to to see your options for preparing and filing your return which include the following.
Getting answers to your tax questions. On get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.
  • Go to or pages for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions.
  • Go to for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview and the final response for your records.
  • Go to to get Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, which features details on tax-saving opportunities, 2017 tax changes, and thousands of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions. View it online in HTML, as a PDF, or download it to your mobile device as an eBook.
  • You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.

Getting tax forms and publications.(p36)

Go to to view, download, or print all of the forms and publications you may need. You can also download and view popular tax publications and instructions (including the 1040 instructions) on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge. Or, you can go to to place an order and have forms mailed to you within 10 business days.

Access your online account (Individual taxpayers only).(p36)

Go to to securely access information about your federal tax account.

Using direct deposit.(p36)

The fastest way to receive a tax refund is to combine direct deposit and IRS e-file. Direct deposit securely and electronically transfers your refund directly into your financial account. Eight in 10 taxpayers use direct deposit to receive their refund. IRS issues more than 90% of refunds in less than 21 days.

Delayed refund for returns claiming certain credits.(p36)

Due to changes in the law, the IRS can’t issue refunds before mid-February 2018, for returns that properly claimed the earned income credit (EIC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC). This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with these credits.

Getting a transcript or copy of a return.(p36)

The quickest way to get a copy of your tax transcript is to go to Click on either "Get Transcript Online" or "Get Transcript by Mail" to order a copy of your transcript. If you prefer, you can:

Using online tools to help prepare your return.(p36)

Go to for the following.

Resolving tax-related identity theft issues.(p36)


Checking on the status of your refund.(p36)


Making a tax payment.(p36)

The IRS uses the latest encryption technology to ensure your electronic payments are safe and secure. You can make electronic payments online, by phone, and from a mobile device using the IRS2Go app. Paying electronically is quick, easy, and faster than mailing in a check or money order. Go to to make a payment using any of the following options.

What if I can’t pay now?(p37)

Go to for more information about your options.

Checking the status of an amended return.(p37)

Go to to track the status of Form 1040X amended returns. Please note that it can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed your amended return for it to show up in our system and processing it can take up to 16 weeks.

Understanding an IRS notice or letter.(p37)

Go to to find additional information about responding to an IRS notice or letter.

Contacting your local IRS office.(p37)

Keep in mind, many questions can be answered on without visiting an IRS Tax Assistance Center (TAC). Go to for the topics people ask about most. If you still need help, IRS TACs provide tax help when a tax issue can’t be handled online or by phone. All TACs now provide service by appointment so you’ll know in advance that you can get the service you need without long wait times. Before you visit, go to to find the nearest TAC, check hours, available services, and appointment options. Or, on the IRS2Go app, under the Stay Connected tab, choose the Contact Us option and click on "Local Offices".

Watching IRS videos.(p37)

The IRS Video portal ( contains video and audio presentations for individuals, small businesses, and tax professionals.

Getting tax information in other languages.(p37)

For taxpayers whose native language isn’t English, we have the following resources available. Taxpayers can find information on in the following languages.
The IRS TACs provide over-the-phone interpreter service in over 170 languages, and the service is available free to taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help You(p37)


What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?(p37)

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Their job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

What Can the Taxpayer Advocate Service Do For You?(p37)

They can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And their service is free. If you qualify for their assistance, you will be assigned to one advocate who will work with you throughout the process and will do everything possible to resolve your issue. TAS can help you if:

How Can You Reach Them?(p37)

They have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at You can also call them at 1-877-777-4778.

How Can You Learn About Your Taxpayer Rights?(p37)

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes 10 basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Tax Toolkit at can help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.

How Else Does the Taxpayer Advocate Service Help Taxpayers?(p37)

TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to them at

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics(p37)

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems with the IRS, such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. In addition, clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. To find a clinic near you, visit or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.