TAX TIPS: What Job Search Expenses Can You Deduct on Your Taxes?


Originally published in Ashton Tweed Connection, March 2011

It’s tax time again. And if you’re looking for a new job in your present occupation, there are a number of expenses that you can deduct. Résumé preparation and mailing, employment agency fees, and travel and transportation are few examples. Here we share some tips about what job search expenses you can and can’t deduct from your taxes.

What Job Search Expenses Aren’t Deductible? Although many job search-related expenses are deductible, you can’t claim them if:


  • You’re looking for a job in a new occupation.


  • This is the first time you’re looking for a job.


  • There’s a significant amount of time between your last employment and the time you began your current job search.


What Job Search Expenses Can You Deduct? According to the Internal Revenue Service, the following are job search expenses that are deductible:


  • All employment and outplacement agency fees. If your new employer reimburses you for the fees after you’ve filed your taxes, however, you must include that amount in your gross income up to the amount of your tax benefit.


  • All expenses for preparing, copying, and mailing résumés to prospective employers.


  • All travel expenses to and from an area to search for a job, if the primary reason for traveling is to look for a new job. When using your car to search for a job, you can use the standard mileage rate to calculate travel expenses. For example, the 2010 rate for business vehicle use is 50 cents per mile.


Click here for the Internal Revenue Service’s detailed information on what job search expenses you can and can’t deduct on your taxes.


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