Deducting Your Job Search Expenses

12 Apr

Whether you are employed or out of work, the expenses related to your job search may qualify as tax deductible.  Certain expenses typically qualify as deductions, but to be certain talk to a tax professional before filing.  These include expenses related to:

  • Resume Preparation
  • Career Counseling Services
  • Employment Agency Fees
  • Travel Expenses (if the trip was primarily for job-related purposes)
  • Vehicle Mileage (standard mileage rate for deduction is 48.5 cents per mile)
  • Communication (phone, fax, etc.)
  • Associated Legal Fees

There are also certain criteria you MUST meet, depending upon your employment status, in order to deduct your job search-related expenses.

If you are employed…

  • You can deduct expenses related to your job search within the same field, and your search should be at a similar level of responsibility with duties similar to your current role.
  • You can deduct expenses that equal at least two percent of your income

If you are unemployed…

  • You cannot deduct expenses if you were unemployed for awhile BEFORE starting your job search
  • You cannot deduct expenses if you are conducting a first-time job search.  The exception to this is if you held a college internship or related job in college, and your search is related to the same field.

Whether you’re getting your taxes in last minute for 2009 or plan to conduct a job search in 2010, it is critically important to keep track of all of your expense-related receipts so that your deductions are as accurate as possible.  Start now!  And save some coin in 2011.  For more information visit http://www.irs.gov.

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