Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Revenue > Tax Information > Tax Types and Information > Personal Income Tax > Unreimbursed Expenses > General Guidelines For Documentation

​GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR UNREIMBURSED EXPENSE DOCUMENTATION

Proper documentation is key to supporting unreimbursed business expenses. The department strongly encourages taxpayers to keep their receipts for 7 years, and document the purpose of the business related expense when it is incurred. Undocumented expenses can be denied.

While it is impossible to outline the exact documentation a taxpayer may need and/or be required to support an unreimbursed business expense being claimed on a PA Schedule UE, the department has provided some guidance on what could be acceptable.

Work clothes, uniforms, small tools and/or supplies

  • Receipts for each purchase and documentation of why the specific attire, tool or supply is required by your employer.
  • A copy of your employer’s work policy that outlines these requirements can be submitted for consideration instead of a letter from your employer.

Union dues

  • A copy of a final pay stub for the year or a receipt from your union that confirms the amount being claimed. (if union dues are not clearly marked on your W2)

Professional license fees, malpractice insurance or fidelity bond premium

  • You may be required to supply the photocopies of the license/policy, receipt from the purchase and documentation of why it is required by your employer.
  • A copy of your employer’s work policy that outlines these requirements can be submitted for consideration instead of a letter from your employer.

Mobile phones

  • Cell phone expenses claimed should be limited to calls made for business purposes when required by an employer.
  • The employee should maintain the type of cell phone coverage that is reasonably related to the needs of the employer’s business, and the unreimbursed expense amount claimed must be reasonably calculated so as to not exceed expenses the employee actually incurred in maintaining the cell phone.
  • Monthly phone bills may be requested. Costs for family plans, bundles, or for additional lines are not reimbursable.

Vehicle mileage expense

Read more details about vehicle mileage expenses.

Parking, tolls and other transportation related expenses

  • Dated receipts for each transaction. The department will consider EZ-Pass bills, credit card statements and/or other similar documentation in some situations. Make sure you provide information on the business purpose of the expenses.

Lodging, meals and/or entertainment expenses

  • These types of expenses can only be claimed while traveling overnight.
  • Meals cannot be claimed by a taxpayer that is working late.
  • Federal per diem rates are not allowable.
  • A taxpayer may claim entertainment that is ordinary and necessary to the trade of business or profession, and directly related to the active conduct of business or immediately precede or follow the active conduct of business.

To support these expenses please keep copies of receipts, information on the business purpose of the expense and verification from your employer that the expense was required.

Home office or work area expenses

The following three conditions must be met for the expense to be allowable:

  1. The job requires an employee to have a suitable work area.
  2. The employer does not provide a suitable work area.
  3. The home office is the employee's principal place of work.


To support these expenses you need an itemized list and proof of your direct office expenses and other apportioned expenses. Keep copies of utility, tax and other bills used to compile the expense figures.

Moving expenses

These types of expenses are only allowed if the move is necessary for the convenience of your employer AND if you pass the distance test.

Distance Test -- Your new workplace must be at least 35 miles farther than the distant between your old residence and your old workplace. Example: If your old workplace was 3 miles from your old residence, your new workplace must be at least 38 miles from your old residence.

Allowable moving expenses include the cost of transportation to your new home. You may use actual out-of-pocket costs or the federal mileage allowance. The expenses for the storage of household goods, for meals and lodging on the way, including such costs on the day you arrive, and parking fees and tolls are allowable.

To support these expenses you need to have an itemized list and proof of each expense. You should also include your previous home & work addresses and your current home & work addresses.

Educational expenses

For Pennsylvania purposes, costs for education expenses are allowable only if:

  • The education is specifically required by law or by your employer to retain an established employment status or rate of compensation; and
  • The education is not part of a program that would qualify you for a new occupation, trade, or business, even if you do not intend to enter that new occupation, trade, or business.

To support these expenses you need to keep copies of your tuition bill and verification from your employer that the education is specifically required by law or by your employer to retain an established employment status or rate of compensation.