How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ed Johnson Your Own Question
Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Ed Johnson is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am on parole and pay a monthly fee to the state for supervisory

This answer was rated:

I am on parole and pay a monthly fee to the state for supervisory charges, electronic monitoring and the such. Are these charges tax deductible as they are substantial and required?



Thank you for your question.


I need to known if


1. you are billed for these expenses?


2. ARE you ordered to pay them by the court?




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was in prison in the state of RI and moved to FL. The parole officer presented me with a list of monthly charges to be paid over the duration of my supervisoin.

So are they ordered by the court? - No - because if I resided in another state I would not have to pay what I am paying and I never went to court in FL.

Am I billed for these ? In a fashion I am as my account reflects charges of ~$300 / month. Does that help? If you want you can call me for more info.



Based on what you are saying, the requirement to pay comes from the statute and is legislated. Many parole programs are that way.


These are not deductible as legal expenses.


In order to be deductible these would have to have been incurred as a result of business activity as business expenses, or as legal fees related to business income or activity.


For example, on a personal level, if a person incurs legal expenses to protect his wages or job, then those legal expenses become deductible.


In a nutshell, if these expenses do not fit into the definition of business or employee expanses, or legal expenses, then they are personal. Personal expenses are not deductible.


From the IRS website:

Amounts paid for legal and other professional services may, depending on the factual circumstances and the ability of the taxpayer to meet the applicable legal requirements for deduction, have the following tax consequences: (1) a deductible expense or as one of the three categories of deductible nonbusiness expenses: (2) a personal expense which is nondeductible; (3) a capital expenditure which is nondeductible, but which may be subject to depreciation or amortization; (4) a deductible loss; or (5) a combination of the foregoing.


I asked about the court order because if this was ordered by the court to a victims compensation fund or was order for reimbursement of wages (ordered by the court), then we could have related these could have been deductible.


But as it stands, these unfortunately are not deductible, because they are personal expenses.


I suppose, one might attempt to argue that paying these fees keeps you in an active parole condition, making you eligible for work. BUT such expenses are also not deductible. For example: aliens who apply for work visas in order to work, are not allowed to deduct visa fees....because such work qualifying activities are not deductible.


The U.S. code (I.R.C) does not specifically mention many deductions and non-dedutable expenses. This opens the door for wide interpreation.


This means you can request a private letter ruling in your case, to allow the deductions.


You can do this two ways. (1) you can claim them anyway, and then deal with them on appeal. (NOTE RECOMMENDED, because it would open the door on a audit of your entire return, and it is my opinion it would be denied.) OR


(2) file your return without claiming them (RECOMMENDED). And submit a request for a letter ruling. If they rule in your favor, you can then file amended returns to claim the additional refunds.


NOTE: at 300 a month, that is 3600 dollars a year. That is less than your standard deduction. So unless you had other significant deductions, even if you could claim this 3600 dollars, it would not do you any good.


The new standard deduction is $10,900 for married couples filing a joint return (up $200), $5,450 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $100) and $8,000 for heads of household (up $150). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes


So if you were single, your iteminzed deductions would have to total 5451 dollars before you would see your fist dollar of deducton benefit. That first dollar would only net you about 15 cents in additiona tax refund.

Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience: GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
Ed Johnson and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you



You can read about the private letter ruling process here:,,id=199552,00.html


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Previous | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA

Meet The Experts:

  • Wallstreet Esq.

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    10 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • Wallstreet Esq.'s Avatar

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    10 years experience
  • Mark D's Avatar

    Mark D

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues
  • Richard's Avatar


    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
  • Robin D.'s Avatar

    Robin D.

    Senior Tax Advisor 4

    Satisfied Customers:

    15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
  • Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
  • jgordosea's Avatar


    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
  • R. Klein, EA's Avatar

    R. Klein, EA

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 Years experience