Beginning in 2018, Job Search Expenses are not a deductible expense on your return.
Below is a list of the following job search expenses that can be listed as an itemized deduction on tax returns prior to the 2018 tax year:
- Employment and staffing agency fees. You can deduct employment and staffing agency fees you pay when looking for a job. If the fees are paid back by the employer to you, you have to include them in your income. If the employer pays the agency back, you do not have to include the amount in your income.
- Résumé. You can deduct the money you spend on paying someone to help with your resume or even the mailing of them to possible employers.
- Travel/transportation expenses. If you travel to an area and end up looking for a job while you were there, you may be able to deduct those traveling expenses. You can deduct the travel expenses if the trip is just to look for a new job. You must determine the amount of time spent there personally and the time you spent there looking for a job. This is important to know so you can figure how much to deduct.
You can usually claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. You can deduct just the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that are over 2% of your AGI. Note: Based on your miscellaneous itemized deductions entries within your TaxSlayer account, the applicable deduction will be calculated for you according to the 2% threshold set forth by the IRS.
You can deduct certain expenses you have in looking for a new job in your present occupation, even if you don't get a new job. You can't deduct these expenses if:
- You are looking for a job in a new field,
- There was a large gap between the ending of your last job and you're looking for a new one, or
- You are looking for a job for the very first time.
For additional information, IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.