Deductible Job Hunting Expenses

If you are one of the MANY looking for work, some of your job seeking expenses could be deductible on your tax return. 

Expenses of looking for a new job, that is in your current line of work, are deductible on Sch A of the tax return, unfortunately subject to 2% of the tax return AGI.  So you have to be able to itemize, but you don’t necessarily have to be successful in your search to find a new job.

You can’t, however, deduct the costs of looking for work  in a NEW field of work.

  •  Payments to recruiters, headhunters, employment agencies, necessary advertising costs for employment in current field
  • Cost of printing, mailing resumes
  • Cost of putting together a portfolio
  • Fees paid for advise (legal or tax) concerning employment contracts
  • Long distance phone call costs to possible employers
  • Transportation costs to interviews.  If you drive, actual expenses or standard mileage rate.  Keep track of mileage either way.
  • Any newspapers or publications purchased for employment ads
  • 50% of meals and entertainment cost specifically related to job searches
  • Meals, lodging, local transportation for out-of-town travel that is related to job searches.  The trip must be primarily for the purpose of the job search.  If your main purpose is personal, you can still deduct specific job hunting expenses at the destination, but the travel costs will not be deductible.
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