Summer is often a time when people make major life decisions. Common events include buying a home, getting married or changing jobs. If you’re looking for a new job in your same line of work, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for some of your job hunting expenses.
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 you for an expense, you may not deduct it.
- You can deduct employment and job placement agency fees you pay while looking for a job.
- 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’t 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.
- You can’t deduct job search expenses if you’re looking for a job for the first time.
- 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.
For more information, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This booklet is available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:
- Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions
- The “What Ifs” for Struggling Taxpayers
- Publication 4128, Tax Impact of Job Loss
- Schedule A, Itemized Deductions
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