Are Jury Duty Expenses Tax Deductible?

Updated on January 5, 2024

At a Glance

  • Jury duty expenses are not tax deductible.
  • Jury duty pay surrendered to employers was previously deductible, but recent tax reforms have affected this provision.
  • Jury duty pay received directly should be reported as income on tax returns.
  • Lost wages due to serving jury duty are not deductible.

Serving on a jury is a civic duty that can also come with some associated costs, such as transportation, parking, meals, and potentially lost wages. These expenses might lead jurors to question whether they can recoup some of these costs through tax deductions. As of current tax law, direct expenses related to jury duty are not deductible, but there are certain tax implications worth understanding. Let’s look into the tax treatment of jury duty compensation and related expenses according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Compensation and Adjustments for Jury Duty

While the out-of-pocket expenses you incur during jury duty are not deductible, there was previously a tax benefit related to jury duty compensation. Taxpayers who handed over their jury duty pay to their employers (in exchange for their regular wages) were once allowed to deduct this amount from their taxable income. However, recent tax reforms have affected this provision.

Jury Duty Pay Given to Employers

As part of miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor, taxpayers receiving jury duty pay required to be surrendered to their employers could claim an adjustment to income for the amount given to their employer. This way, they wouldn’t have to report this compensation as part of their income.

Impact of the TCJA

However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) suspended all miscellaneous itemized deductions that were subject to the 2% floor of the adjusted gross income for the tax years 2018-2025. This change included the adjustment for jury duty pay given to employers.

How to Handle Jury Duty Pay on Your Tax Return

Despite the lack of a deduction for jury duty expenses, there are a couple of points to consider when handling jury duty pay for tax purposes:

  • Jury Duty Pay as Income: If you are compensated for jury duty and you keep those payments (i.e., not turned over to your employer), this income typically needs to be reported on your tax return. Employers might provide a Form W-2 or Form 1099-MISC showing the amount of jury duty pay, which would be taxable income to you.
  • Lost Wages: Unfortunately, the loss of wages due to serving jury duty is not deductible, nor can you claim any credit for missing work while serving.

Final Thoughts

Under current tax laws, there is no provision for deducting specific jury duty expenses or for making an income adjustment for jury duty pay surrendered to an employer. While this means there are limited tax benefits related to serving on a jury, fulfilling this civic responsibility is essential to the justice system.

For accurate and updated information on how to report jury duty pay and other tax-related questions, always refer to the IRS website or consult with a tax professional. Additionally, taxpayers can visit USA.gov’s Jury Service page for more information about the requirements and responsibilities of jury duty.

Being aware of the tax rules concerning jury duty pay ensures taxpayers handle their civil service and associated compensation correctly when it comes time to file a tax return. It is important to keep comprehensive records and receipts, even though these may not directly lead to tax deductions under the current tax framework.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I deduct jury duty expenses on my tax return?

No, jury duty expenses are not tax deductible.

Was jury duty pay surrendered to employers previously deductible?

Yes, jury duty pay surrendered to employers was previously deductible. However, recent tax reforms have affected this provision.

Should I report jury duty pay received directly as income on my tax return?

Yes, jury duty pay received directly should be reported as income on your tax return.

Are lost wages due to serving jury duty deductible?

No, lost wages due to serving jury duty are not deductible.

No, transportation expenses related to jury duty are not deductible.

Are meals during jury duty deductible?

No, meals during jury duty are not deductible.

Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) impact the tax treatment of jury duty compensation?

Yes, the TCJA suspended the deduction for jury duty pay given to employers.

Do I need to report jury duty pay as income if I keep the payments?

Yes, if you are compensated for jury duty and you keep those payments, they typically need to be reported as income on your tax return.

Can I claim a credit for missing work while serving jury duty?

No, you cannot claim a credit for missing work while serving jury duty.

Under current tax laws, there are limited tax benefits related to serving on a jury.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.