One of the mistakes to avoid when it comes to the job hunt is not keeping track of how much you are spending on the effort. That’s right. Some of the expenses related to your job hunt in this time of economic difficulty are actually tax deductible. This can be helpful to those who are concerned about doing a good job of showcasing their skills, but are noticing that looking for a job can incur some expenses. Here are some of the job hunt items that are actually eligible for itemized tax deductions:
- Travel expenses
- Mailing expenses
- Resume preparation expenses (having a professional look it over and tweak it)
- Agency fees (for employment and outplacement)
You should note that there are some restrictions, however. First of all, your expenses must be related to finding a new job in the same field. Switching careers completely doesn’t count. Additionally, you can’t deduct job hunt expenses if you are looking for your first job, or if you have taken a long break between losing your job and starting the current hunt. You can only take job hunt deductions if the costs are higher than 2% of your adjusted gross income.
It is worth noting that, for this tax year, the first $2,400 you collect in unemployment benefits is tax exempt. Before you take your deductions, you might consult a tax professional or check the IRS web site. You want to make sure you are truly eligible for these deductions.