What Do Taxes and TSA PreCheck Have in Common?

November 14, 2016 : Allie Freeland

Are you planning a holiday away to visit your friends and family this year? Or, are you a frequent jet-setting businessperson who travels a lot – taking no breather even during the holiday season?

If either of these cases apply to you, you can probably already imagine the headaches that come along with air travel during peak times of the year: annoying security procedures, having to arrive hours in advance of your flight in fear of long security lines, battling huge crowds at the airport., and the worst… taking off your shoes!

Enter TSA PreCheck

Your life could get a little bit easier this year. The Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓® program is a dream come true for avid travelers and crowd avoiders alike.

With this program, you can get a better air travel experience by avoiding long lines associated with holiday travel. All you have to do is supply more information about yourself to TSA up front.

How Can I Get It?

H&R Block has partnered with the IdentoGO® services organization of MorphoTrust USA to provide a range of identity services at select offices. That includes enrollment in TSA Pre✓®. So, in 100 H&R Block locations, you can visit an H&R Block office to have fingerprinting and document verification done as part of the TSA Pre✓® application process.

But that’s not all: it’s best to make an appointment through this website.

How Much Does it Cost?

TSA Pre✓® is $85 and has to be renewed every five years. Sounds to me like it’s a low investment with a big payoff – forget the holiday travel headache, people!

And, Now the Burning Question…

At H&R Block, we are in the business of taxes, and based on this post’s title, you probably are wondering, “Can I deduct TSA Pre✓® on my taxes?”

The answer: in some cases, yes.

Here are some cases where you may qualify to deduct TSA Pre✓® on your taxes:

  1. It must be used at least 50% of the time for business purposes.*
  2. If you travel 25 times for business and four or more times for personal reasons in 2016.

*Please Note: The expense must be ordinary and necessary, and is related to your trade or business. Using TSA Pre✓® should be common and accepted to be deductible. It does not have to be indispensable, but it should be helpful to you in completing your business. You must not be reimbursed for the expense. If your employer pays for your TSA Pre✓® service up front, or reimburses you for the cost, you cannot claim it as a business deduction.

Also, if deductible, the $85 cost of TSA Pre✓® should be deducted ratably over the five years it’s in effect because the IRS specifically denies full deduction for items whose benefit lasts greater than one year. TSA Pre✓® lasts for five years, and therefore does not qualify for full deduction in the year paid.

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Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.