Looking For a Job? Deduct Search Expenses

Are you on the hunt? Looking for that perfect new job? While it may not seem too costly to perform a full on job search, little and the expenses can really add up over time. When you combine postage, cost of printing your resume, travel, and work samples you can really have a hefty expense.

There’s a chance though, that those expenses may be deductible at tax time. There are limitations to be aware of, so ensure that your circumstances meet the requirements.

The Requirements

There are basically two requirements that your job search must meet if you want to deduct expenses.

  1. You must remain in the same occupation or line of work they you are currently in. While looking for a promotion is probably a good career move, you can’t deduct expenses related to this search. You can deduct travel costs as long as most of the trip was used to look for a job in your industry. You don’t actually have to get a new position in order to deduct the expenses.
  2. These types of expenses are considered miscellaneous deductions. You are allowed to claim any amount of expense debt exceeds 2% of your adjusted gross income. Job search expenses may be lumped in with your other miscellaneous deductions, which can include tax preparation fees, unreimbursed job expenses, in other schedule A deductions.

You can’t get a deduction if the search is for your first fulltime job, or you spent a lot of time off between your old job and the search for a new job.

What’s Deductible?

If your expenses to meet the above requirements, you’ll be able to deduct:

  • Employment agency fees
  • Resume preparation fees
  • Travel and transportation costs, as long as the main purpose of the trip is for a job search