Many people in this country are looking for jobs, and oftentimes, there are expenses that go along with that search. At a time in your life when there is no money coming in, but you find yourself having to spend in your quest searching for a job, how can you make those expenses work for you?
Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about deducting these costs:
- Your expenses must be for a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses related to a search for a job in a new occupation. If your employer or another party reimburses your expenses you may not take a deduction on your tax return.
- Employment and job placement agency fees that you pay while searching for a new job may be deducted on your federal income tax return.
- You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing copies of your résumé to prospective employers.
- If you travel to look for a new job, you may be able to deduct your travel expenses. However, you can only deduct them if the trip is primarily to look for a new job.
- You can not deduct job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one.
- If you are looking for a job for the first time, you cannot deduct the cost of your job search expenses.
- You usually will claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. You can deduct only the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income. Note: Based on your miscellaneous itemized deductions entries within your [#AFFILIATE#] account, the applicable deduction will be calculated for you according to the 2% threshhold set forth by the IRS.
For additional information, IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This booklet is available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).