Job Search Expenses May Lower Your Taxes

September is often a time of transition, when people decide to make major life decisions--such as changing jobs. If you're looking for a new job, then you may be able to claim a tax deduction for some of your job hunting expenses--as long as it's in your same line of work.

Here are seven things you need to know about deducting these costs:

1. Your expenses must be for a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses related to a search for a job in a new occupation. If your employer or another party reimburses you for an expense, you may not deduct it.

2. You can deduct employment and job placement agency fees you pay while looking for a job.

3. You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing copies of your resume to prospective employers.

4. If you travel to look for a new job, you may be able to deduct your travel expenses. However, you can only deduct them if the trip is primarily to look for a new job.

5. You can't deduct job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one.

6. You can't deduct job search expenses if you're looking for a job for the first time.

7. You will usually claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, but can deduct only the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income.

Give us a call if you have any questions about tax deductions related to a job search.