Taxpayers who are looking for a new job that is in the same line of work may be able to deduct some job-hunting expenses on their federal income tax return, even if they don’t get a new job.
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Here are some important facts to know about deducting costs related to job searches:
SAME OCCUPATION. Expenses are tax deductible when the job search is in a taxpayer’s current line of work.
RESUME COST. Costs associated in preparing and mailing a résumé are tax deductible.
TRAVEL EXPENSES. Travel costs to look for a new job are deductible. Expenses including transportation, meals and lodging are deductible if the trip is mainly to look for a new job. Some costs are still deductible even if looking for a job is not the main purpose of the trip.
PLACEMENT AGENCY – Job placement or employment agency fees are deductible.
REIMBURSED COST – If an employer or other party reimburses search related expenses, like agency fees, they are not deductible.
SCHEDULE A – Report job search expenses on Schedule A of a 1040 tax return and claim them as miscellaneous deductions. The total miscellaneous deductions cannot be more than two percent of adjusted gross income.
Taxpayers can’t deduct these expenses if they:
1) Are looking for a job in a new occupation,
2) Had a substantial break between the ending of their last job and looking for a new one, or
3) Are looking for a job for the first time.
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