Looking for a Job? Tax Deductions That Can Save You

Tax Deductions and Credits

Finding tax deductions that you qualify for is vital if you want to legally minimize your tax obligations. Depending on your circumstances, one sort of tax deduction that you may want to take is regarding your summer job search.

Deduct Summer Job Search Expenses

While hunting for a job can be stressful, there are some ways you can help yourself now and at tax time. Knowing what deductions you qualify for and keeping records can save you some money.

Keeping your receipts is vital since every related expense that is over 2% of your adjusted gross income can be deductible.

Qualifying Deductions on Job Hunt Expenses

Before we list some possible expenses for you to keep notes on, I want to mention that these deductions are for a job search in your current occupation.

If you’re spreading your wings and trying out a new career field, then you don’t qualify. You cannot not also claim these expenses for your first job search.

Take the Time to Spruce Up Your Resume

One job hunt deduction you should look at taking is getting your resume polished. While you’re making sure that your resume is up to date for prospective employers, you may also want to keep receipts for what you paid to get them prepared, printed, and mailed out.

Travel High and Low

When looking for your next job, you may be required to travel a bit as you interview with prospective employers. If your job hunt includes some travel, make sure to track your hotel and transportation expenses.

To get the deduction the main purpose of your trip should be the job hunt, not a mini-vacation. Looking at your activities, you can decide what was the primary reason for the trip. You want everything to be on the up and up when filing your taxes and claiming your deductions.

Use That Job Search Deduction Wisely

One last reminder – please keep all of your receipts in a safe spot until you have to file your taxes. I hope that you get the double bonus of finding a job that you love and getting the tax deduction you deserve.

Comments (24) Leave your comment

  1. I was unemployed at the time of my divorce and when I got employed a few months later, March 5, 2013, I bought a used car to enable me to get to and from work. Is the cost of the car, etc. tax deductible?

  2. If you spend your 401K to pay living expenses and college debt, while out of work, and applying for jobs, would this expense be taxed?

  3. My spouse passed away in May. I had close to $15,000 in funeral expenses. Is any of this deductable? Can I still file a Joint return? I’am 82 yrs. old and have filed with Turbo Tax for last 10 yrs.

  4. I retired from my job in Houston and my husband and I moved to Phoenix. He had to start his handyman service again, since it was not doing to well in Houston and is starting to pick up here, can we deduct the move expenses on turbo tax?

  5. I just took early S.S. because after ten months of searching for a job after termination, I am still looking. My question: is S.S. taxed before I get the payment and do I file at the end of the year for my S.S. payment? I don’t want to pay at the end of the year. thank you!

  6. I retired from the Department of Defense at my last duty station in California, when I moved back to my home of record I was told that I do not qualify for moving expenses, can you tell me why is that, I had to sign a transportation agreement just like the active duty military and they get their last move paid by the military, civilian employees do not and I paid over 8,000.00 thousand dollars to move myself back to my home of record, can you help me?

  7. What if I am being forced to quite my job due to a medical condition? And am being forced to change careers for the same reason? Does that qualify me for job search tax deductions?

  8. I dont have all the receipt, but I have my credit card details showing the expenses. Is that useful or legally only the receipts? If I travelled looking for a job can I consider the food expenses and taxis I took?

  9. I really appreciate the info.. Many tax preparers are extremely vague when explaining what you may be entitled to because they are trying to get you out and someone else in.. I always do my taxes with turbo tax and have no doubt I am getting my max , thanx turbo tax!

  10. I loss my job in August, 2013. I am trying to signup for some health insurance and I can’t afford the premium. Can you help?

  11. is there anyway for me to still recieve my eic. credits? I have 4 kids and stopped working in dec 2013. i recieve unemployment, and my husband recieves ssi.

  12. Can I deduct expenses for searching for a job outside of the United States? If so, is there a cap on the expenses that can be deducted? I am an attorney, and I am looking for employment in Asia requiring me to travel and interview. If I get the job I would likely have to relocate although there is a possible to telecommute..

    1. I would not do that! LinkedIn may be a means of locating people to connect to, but that purpose has multiple options, such as social media, peer contacts, but it is just a possibility of actually obtaining “work” via the jobsite. There are many other sites out there which are free where you can do the same thing concerning finding work.

  13. If I use a company to aid my search, and that company charges a fee, in this case The Ladders, is the fee deductible?

    1. Totally disagree If the only reason you would pay for a premium linked in service is to job hunt it would be deductible. I am neither an account nor a lawyer, but that is really just common sense. The primary purpose of linked in is professional connections, and it is now a #1 way HR screens and searches for candidates so it is certainly aligned with the purpose of using linked in for job search.

  14. My job search and related expenses are in 2013, accepting a job beginning in July 2014. Are the expenses deductible in 2013?

    1. Hi John,
      Yes it is deductible if you itemized your deductions (had schedule A). Make sure you kept your receipts if you end up amending your taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  15. I broke my apartment lease rental when I got a job and moved to Honolulu from Phoenix. I paid $3000. Is this deductible? Thanks.

    1. That occurred to me also a few years back. I did not take the deduction, since I voluntarily broke the agreement. Yes, it is involved with the move to employment, but it would likely be a red flag for the IRS also.

      1. Most leases have a special clause in them that stipulate if it is due to job relocation no fee is required. Check your lease you may be entitled to a refund. The agent you dealt with may not have been aware of this clause.

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