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Tax Tip: Deduct Your Job-Hunting Expenses

Claiming all the deductions for which you're eligible is one honest strategy for reducing your tax bill. Not all job-hunting expenses are deductible, but if you were searching for something new in 2008 be sure to check out the list below before submitting your tax return.

  • Your job search must be for a position in the same field as your current job.
  • If you've taken a long break between walking out the door of your last job and embarking on a new job hunt, the IRS won't allow you to deduct any job-hunting expenses.
  • Recent graduates don't qualify for these types of deductions.
  • If you've been contemplating starting your own business in the same field where you're currently working for someone else, your research costs could be deductible.


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witwhimsy witwhimsy 7 years
I did this two years ago and it was a HUGE help. I completely recommend it.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
You can claim job-seeking expenses as long as the amount of all miscellaneous itemized deductions is more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. Job seeking deductions are also subject to the overall limitation on itemized deductions based on AGI threshold amounts. To figure your deduction on Schedule A, subtract 2 percent of your adjusted gross income from the total amount of these expenses. Your adjusted gross income is the amount on Form 1040, line 35.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
1. Your job search must be for a job in your current, or most recent, trade or business and should be at a similar level of responsibility with duties similar to those of your most recent job. 2. If you have not held a job in that trade or business for an extended length of time your job search will be considered for a new trade or business and your deductions may not be allowed. 3. If you held a college internship or valid job while in college and your search is for a job in the same trade or business, you will be able to take the job search deductions. 4. If you are just out of school and had no similar paying jobs in school, you are looking for a job in a new trade or business and your deductions will not be allowed. 5. If you take a personal trip and happen to do some job hunting while on that trip, only the expenses specific to the job hunt in the destination location will be deductible. Travel to and from the location and lodging and meals while there will not be deductible. Avoid unnecessary job-hunting trips to vacation spots.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
What job hunting deductions can be taken? * Employment Agency Fees: o If your new employer repays your agency fees, you must include the amount in your gross income up to the amount of the deduction you claimed earlier. o If your employer pays fees directly to the agency and you have no responsibility for them, you do not have to include them in your gross income. * Resume Preparation: o Typing and printing o Postage o Toll telephone calls o Advertising o Photographs (if required for your resume in your trade or business) * Travel for Your Job-Search: o Airfare or mileage (In some circumstances actual automobile expenses have been approved) o Lodging o Meals (based on either actual expenses or standard federal per diem rates)
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
ilanac13, I believe that it has to be used *exclusively* for business purposes, but again, I don't know how one proves that.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
that's a good question. i always wonder what i can write off as job related so i could get more deductions. i know that i can use my blackberry since that's not my standard phone. i only have it for work email outside of work...but the other stuff i just wonder about.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Savvy, how exactly do you show that expenses are job-hunting related? Do you need to keep receipts? (I'm moving in a few weeks, so I'll be job hunting like crazy!) :)
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