I am a W2 employee in software development in southern CA, USA. In 2020, like many, my organization is requiring me to work from home since March 1st and ongoing through the remainder of 2020.

This requires me to use my own computer equipment to do my job.

My company is allowing my to expense my internet connection costs, as well as a certain allowance for chairs/desks/ergonomic equipment... but not my computer.

Are there any provisions for tax deductions that I should consider for 2020 differently than previous year?

2 Answers 2


As an employee, you are not allowed to deduct any business expenses yourself. You can get reimbursed by your employer for business expenses, and that reimbursement will be tax free for both you and your employer. However, anything your employer chooses not to reimburse is not tax deductible on your return. Unreimbursed employee expenses used to be a tax deduction, but this deduction was eliminated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

See this H&R Block link for more details.


As Ben notes, post-2017 it is no longer possible to deduct expenses as an employee (Thanks for that correction!). However, you should consider whether your employer is required to reimburse you for your computer or other expenses.

California state law requires businesses to reimburse employees for necessary expenses. As such, if you were not provided a computer and had to purchase one, assuming it was a reasonable choice for the type of work you do, your employer may be required to reimburse you for that cost. You may want to consult a California employment lawyer to find out whether this applies in your case, but as a software developer it certainly seems like a computer is a necessary tool for your job...

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