What Was Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses?

Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses was a tax form distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and used by employees to deduct ordinary and necessary expenses related to their jobs. Ordinary expenses were generally considered common and accepted in a particular line of business, while necessary expenses are those that are helpful in conducting business.

Who Could File Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses?

Form 2106-EZ was a simplified version of Form 2106 and was used by employees who were claiming a tax deduction because of unreimbursed expenses related to their jobs.

In order to qualify for a deduction, the employee cannot have been reimbursed by the employer for the expenses. Employees who used this form claimed the standard mileage rate for vehicle expenses.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed all unreimbursed employee expenses. Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses can only be used up to the tax year 2017.

As of the tax year 2018, unreimbursed employee business expenses can no longer be claimed for a tax deduction. That means both Form 2106 and 2106-EZ can no longer be used.

How to File Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

The form is divided into two parts. Part I tabulates all employee business expenses, then calculates whether—and which—expenses are eligible for a tax deduction. Part II more specifically addresses vehicle expenses.

In Part I, employees must list all business expenses, such as airfare, lodging, parking, tolls, and car rental, as well as any personal vehicle expenses from Part II. So-called incidental expenses describe valet tips and other small cash transactions that don’t typically generate a receipt. Meals and entertainment are added separately because most taxpayers are only allowed to claim 50% of those expenses.

Another way to calculate overnight expenses is to use the General Services Administration (GSA) per diem rates for cities around the U.S. or, for foreign travel, the State Department rates for every country. Lodging rates vary considerably by month, based on supply and demand in any given locality. For example, the GSA allows a per diem lodging rate of $424 in Aspen, Colorado, during January 2018, but only $164 in September. The per diem meal rate does not change and, as of 2018, was listed as $74 for Aspen.

Part II addresses personal vehicle expenses, which must be claimed using the standard mileage rate. This entails multiplying the IRS mileage rate for the tax year by the number of business-qualifying miles driven. The mileage rate factors in gasoline and repair expenses plus wear and tear on the average car. In 2018, it was set at 54.5 cents per mile. Expenses incurred commuting to and from work are not an eligible business expense.

Download Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Click on this link to download a copy of Form 2106-EZ: Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses. Remember, this downloadable form can only be used up to the tax year 2017.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 2106-EZ was used by employees to deduct job-related expenses related including meals, hotels, airfare and vehicle expenses.
  • Employees using this form were only allowed to claim the standard mileage rate for vehicle expenses.
  • This form was discontinued after 2018 after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed all unreimbursed employee expense deductions.