Many people do not realize that small things, like buying stationary for the record-keeping of your stocks or shares as well as the short calls on your telephone bill, can all be written off as investment expenses. Anything that helps you maintain and grow your investments is part of your "miscellaneous" investment expenses.
Many years ago, people used to take trips to all parts of the country to attend investment seminars and be able to deduct the expenses incurred. These investment traveling expenses, however, are no longer deductible. Not even a single part of it is deductible any longer. Even though business trips are considered deductible when it comes to taxes, the ones involving investment seminars are no longer.
Still, things like buying books to better your investment skills, making trips to your stockbroker's office, trade papers, and safe deposit boxes that contain documentation related to your investment, are still deductible. In addition, any investment fees, custodial fees, trust administration fees, and other expenses you paid to maintain your investment are tax deductible. In the case of the safe deposit box, you can not also use it to store jewelry and other personal papers as well as investment documentation. If you do, the cost of it is no longer tax deductible.
Service charges you pay for dividend reinvestment plans are also tax deductible. This may include payments for keeping shares you bought through a plan, collection of and reinvestment of your cash dividends, and for record keeping.
In keeping up with the electronic age, the fees that you pay to maintain your account on on-line stock broking houses, such as Etrade or AmeriTrade, are tax deductible. The only aspect of investing that was never tax deductible and still is not, either online or offline, is the commission that you pay to the broker. Instead, commissions paid are considered part of the investment's basis, thus helping you reduce the capital gains tax that would normally apply when you sell part of your stocks.