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Category: Finding Deductions

Job Search Expenses and Deductions

Many people in this country are looking for jobs, and oftentimes, there are expenses that go along with that search. At a time in your life when there is no money coming in, but you find yourself having to spend in your quest searching for a job, how can you make those expenses work for you?


Here are seven things the IRS wants you 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 your expenses you may not take a deduction on your tax return.

2. Employment and job placement agency fees that you pay while searching for a new job may be deducted on your federal income tax return.

3. You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing copies of your résumé 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 not 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. If you are looking for a job for the first time, you cannot deduct the cost of your job search expenses.

7. You usually will claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. You can deduct only the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income. Note: Based on your miscellaneous itemized deductions entries within your TaxSlayer account, the applicable deduction will be calculated for you according to the 2% threshold set forth by the IRS.


For additional information, IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This booklet is available on or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).