The Masters of Business Administration or MBA degree is the most popular graduate degree in the U.S. The growth of distance education programs and the increased accessibility of postsecondary education coupled with the appeal of the degree amongst working professionals promise to keep a steady flow of taxpayers who want to deduct the cost of an MBA degree as a trade or business expense. Previously, many viewed both the IRS and the courts as unreasonable to the deductibility of the MBA. Most recent considerations of the issue, were considered as major victories for taxpayers. Examining past cases shows that, while the IRS has often challenged the right of an MBA graduate to deduct education expenses, the Tax Court has been more receptive to such claims. In fact, where taxpayers present a well-reasoned case they have often prevailed. Two recent court cases (Kopaigora and Long) stand as the most recent illustrations of the court’s receptiveness to the deductibility of the costs of obtaining an MBA degree, although as summary opinions, neither is citable as precedent.
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