I work as a Software Developer. Using Topic 513 Publication 970 Chapter 12 of the US Tax Code would I be able to deduct any of the following?

  • Paying for and taking PTO to attend a conference and workshops for programming like Clojure/West
  • Paying for and taking a programming/analysis specialization on Coursera like Data Science

Also would I need to fill out both form 2106-EZ and 2106 or just one of them?

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    A course that is directly required to retain your job and not reimbursed by your employer qualifies. Generally nothing else does. You might want to adk your employer if they offer any kind of tuition assistance plan and whether these courses would be covered by that. – keshlam Feb 27 '16 at 16:00
  • I see, so it has to be directly required, meaning I have to take it instead of wanting to take it? – Mike Harris Feb 27 '16 at 16:53
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    That's not quite true @keshlam as I read Pub 970, which lists two tests and you can meet either one. It's possible the OP's expenses would meet the second test. Note however that, if you otherwise qualify for the deduction, you can only deduct these expenses above the 2% AGI limit, so the actual savings may be fairly minimal depending on the costs and your income. – Zach Lipton Feb 28 '16 at 6:27
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    Also note: "You can't deduct personal or capital expenses. For example, you can't deduct the dollar value of vacation time or annual leave you take to attend classes. This amount is a personal expense." – Zach Lipton Feb 28 '16 at 6:29
  • @ZachLipton thanks that is how I read it. I'll consult a tax accountant before I make any plans. – Mike Harris Feb 28 '16 at 13:34

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