Products & Pricing
Online products
CD/download products
Mobile products
Self-employment taxes
Small business taxes
Military
Compare products
TurboTax Advantage
Previous years' products
File an IRS extension
Access my downloads
Tools & Tips
Tax calculators
Tax tips & videos
Track my donations
TurboTax blog
After You File
Track my refund
Check my e-file status
Print my return
Amend my return
Access prior year returns
Go to Turbo
Help
TurboTax Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Expert Services
How TurboTax works
Security
Tax Reform

Common Tax Deductions for Coaches

Updated for Tax Year 2017


OVERVIEW

Most youth coaches will say that it’s not something they do for the money—they simply love kids and love teaching them the game. The good news for coaches is, there are a few tax deductions you can take to get more money back at tax time.


 

Beginning with the 2018 tax year, unreimbursed employee expenses are no longer deductible.

Itemize to Claim Work-Related Tax Deductions

You must itemize to claim a deduction for employee work-related expenses. This means completing Schedule A with your tax return and taking a total deduction for all your itemized deductible expenses—not just what you spent on coaching—in lieu of the standard deduction for your filing status.

The standard deduction works out to be more than itemized deductions for many taxpayers, so itemizing isn’t always a good deal. TurboTax can help you decide which deduction is best for you by asking you simple questions.

The Educator Expense Deduction

A major distinction exists between coaching a school team as an employee and coaching your neighborhood’s Little League. If you’re a school coach and you also teach, you might be eligible for the educator expense deduction if you worked for the school at least 900 hours during the academic year.

You don’t have to itemize your deductions in order to claim the educator expense deduction. It goes on the first page of your tax return before you get around to deciding if you want to itemize or claim the standard deduction.

  • You can claim up to $250 for expenses that you personally purchase for the team as an educator expense deduction, as long as the school does not reimburse you for the expenses.
  • You must also be an educator to qualify for this deduction—i.e. you are employed by the school to teach or instruct in some manner

What Else Can Coaches Deduct?

You can also claim work-related expenses for items you spent money on in excess of $250, as long as you're an employee that does not get reimbursed for the expense. For example, if you spent $1,000 and the school paid you back only $400, you can still claim a deduction for $600, subject to some other rules.

This work-related expense deduction covers a lot more ground than just supplies and equipment you purchase. It includes:

  • costs of medical examinations the school requires you to undergo to determine fitness
  • subscriptions related to work
  • travel and transportation expenses for work
  • one-half of meals when away from home overnight on work-related business
  • union dues
  • work uniforms
  • continuing education that keeps you current with your job’s requirements

You can deduct many expenses that are both “ordinary and necessary” to your coaching duties as an employee. You don’t necessarily have to be an educator to claim this deduction, but you need to be an employee. It must qualify as work. Otherwise, it’s a hobby.

The Two-Percent Threshold

Itemized deductions include many categories, one of them being “miscellaneous deductions.” Your work-related expense deductions fall under this umbrella. This category is subject to a 2% threshold—you can deduct only the portion of your expenses that exceeds 2% of your adjusted gross income, or AGI.

For example:

  • If you spent $1,000 on coaching expenses and the school repaid you $400 of that, you might not be able to deduct the $600 balance, due to the 2% rule.
  • If your AGI is $55,000, 2% of that is $1,100, so you could only deduct work-related coaching expenses that exceed $1,100.
  • In this example, you can’t deduct the $600 as that is under $1,100.
  • However, there are other miscellaneous itemized deductions that can be used to get over the 2% threshold. Investment expenses, tax preparation fees, legal expenses for generating income are some examples.

When Your Coaching is a Hobby

What if you coach your town’s Little League team as a volunteer? You’re probably not paid for this work, so the work-related deduction and the educator expense deduction are not available to you. But you might still be able to deduct some of your costs.

In this case, you’re spending money voluntarily on a hobby, not a job, and the IRS allows you to deduct some hobby expenses if you itemize. Hobby expenses are also a miscellaneous deduction, so they must exceed 2% of your AGI. But you’ll need at least some income from coaching because the amount you spend over 2% of your adjusted gross income can’t exceed the income earned from your hobby. For example:

  • If your AGI is $50,000, you could only deduct hobby expenses in excess of $1,000, or 2% of that ($50,000 x 0.02 = $1,000 threshold).
  • If you had $1,100 in expenses, you could deduct $100 ($1,100 - $1,000 = $100 you can deduct).
  • However, you also must earn at least $100 from your coaching hobby to take the deduction.

Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions and fill out the right tax forms for you to maximize your tax deductions.

A TurboTax solution for every situation

See which tax prep product is right for you

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Security is built into everything we do
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live for Extension Filers: To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 4/30/20, you must pay for your 2018 TurboTax Self-Employed or TurboTax Live return by 4/15/19 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 7/15/19. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 4/30/20 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2018. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • TurboTax Live Reviews: Displayed reviews are for the TurboTax Live standalone service from Tax Year 2017 and not for the new Turbo Tax product / TurboTax Live bundle available for Tax Year 2018.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $39.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2019. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, EAs or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. In the event your return is reviewed by a tax expert and requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign your return as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return (payment by the federal refund not available when tax expert signs your return). On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, Smart Insights and My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available through 10/31/2020. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • Easy Online Amend: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Make changes to your 2018 tax return online for up to 3 years after it has been filed and accepted by the IRS through 10/31/2021. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com January 29, 2018.
  • Get tips from Turbo based on your tax and credit data to help get you to where you want to be: Tax and credit data accessed upon your consent.
  • TURBOTAX GUARANTEES

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee - or Your Money Back: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Online Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid.
  • 100% Accurate Expert Approved Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney made while providing topic-specific tax advice, a section review, or acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Audit Support Guarantee: If you received an audit letter based on your 2018 TurboTax return and are not satisfied with how we responded to your inquiry, we’ll refund the applicable TurboTax federal 1040 and/or state purchase price you paid. TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid. We will not represent you or provide legal advice. Excludes TurboTax Business.
  • TurboTax Free Guarantee: $0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File offer is available for simple tax returns with TurboTax Free Edition. A simple tax return is Form 1040 only, with no attached schedules.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed:
    • If you use TurboTax Online or Mobile:
      Satisfaction Guaranteed — or you don't pay. You may use TurboTax Online without charge up to the point you decide to print or electronically file your tax return. Printing or electronically filing your return reflects your satisfaction with TurboTax Online, at which time you will be required to pay or register for the product.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax from a retailer:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it to Intuit within 60 days of purchase with your dated receipt for a full refund.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax directly from us:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it within 60 days of shipment with your dated receipt for a full refund (excluding shipping & handling).
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $39.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2016 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2014 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.
About
Online Software Products
CD/Download Products
Mobile Tax Apps
Help and Support
Tax Tools and Tips
More Products from Intuit