The Tax Benefits of Looking for Work

Looking for work costs money. Things like resume paper and printing, a new suit, and paying for premium online job search services can add up. This can be a little tough on job seekers who are likely unemployed. Sometimes these job seekers even have to take a class or two to be more marketable. The government tries to mitigate these expenses by allowing these folks searching for work deductions on their tax returns.

Here’s a list of common deductions you can take:

  • If you travel for an interview that’s not paid for by the company you are interviewing with, you can deduct your expenses as long as the trip was for the sole purpose of finding a job.
  • You can deduct costs around creating, printing and mailing resumes.
  • You can also deduct the costs you incur by hiring a recruiter or job placement agency.

Things that disqualify you from taking job search deductions:

  • Your search must be for a job within your current field and you are not looking for a job for the first time.
  • There has not been a long gap in employment.
  • The expenses you take on such as travel must be primarily related to your job search.
  • If another party or employer reimburses you for the expenses you’re not able to take the deductions.

Of course, it’s always best to have a professional like us to do your taxes so you don’t increase your risks for an audit. Additionally, we may be able to find even more deductions you can take; everyone’s situation is unique.