Question

I am looking for a new job and have job-hunting expenses related to my search. Are there tax deductible job search expenses that I can claim on my tax return?

Answer

You can claim certain job-hunting expenses when looking for a position in your existing trade or business. Tax deductible job search expenses are not available if:

  • You’re looking for a job in a new occupation.
  • A substantial amount of time has passed after the termination of your last job.
  • You’re looking for a job for the first time.

You can take the job-hunting deduction even if you don’t get the job.

If you’re not reimbursed by a prospective employer, you can claim tax deductible job search expenses like:

  • Employment, career development, and outplacement agency fees
  • Cost of resume preparation, including:
    • Development (Ex: professional resume specialist fees)
    • Printing
    • Mailing
  • Travel and transportation expenses — if your job search is the primary purpose of the travel

You’ll claim these expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. Use Form 1040, Schedule A. The deduction is subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI) limit.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Adoption Expenses

Learn more about the adoption credit and qualified adoption expenses from the tax experts at H&R Block.

What Is the Joint Return Test?

Trying to determine if you can be claimed as a dependent? Learn more about the joint return and dependent taxpayer tests with the experts at H&R Block.

Cell Phone Tax Deduction Requirements

Can you claim a tax deduction if you use a cell phone for business purposes? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Deduct It: Medical Expenses

You should consider deducting medical expenses if you spend a lot of money on healthcare. Learn more about deductible medical expenses at H&R Block.