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.

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