Job Search and Career Counseling Expenses Can BeTax Deductible

If you are searching for a new job within the same profession, even if you’ve been out of work for a period of time, you can deduct a number of expenses on your 2012 Tax Return. You get a deduction to the extent that your total of miscellaneous deductions exceeds 2 % of your Adjusted Gross Income.  If the total of your miscellaneous expenses fall short of 2 % of your Adjusted Gross Income, you cannot deduct any of these items.

Here are some deductible items:

  • Expenses for résumé preparation services, printing and mailing to prospective employers
  • Career counseling costs and any employment agency fees you paid for
  • Tuition for classes that maintain or improve the skills required for your present job, for example: a Graphic Designer takes a website development course
  • Moving costs for a new job at least 50 miles away from your home may also be deductible
  • Subscriptions to magazines, self-help books and other publications that are related to your work
  • Dues you pay to a union or a professional organization in connection with your employment
  • Clothes you need for interviews. Once you get the job, uniform or wardrobe expenses can be deducted as well
  • The cost of local and long distance telephone calls to prospective employers
  • Traveling expenses when traveling to and from the areas where you search for a new job

You cannot deduct these expenses if:

  • You are looking for a job for the first time
  • You may NOT deduct travel expenses when searching for a job in a new occupation
  • You cannot deduct your job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you begin looking for a new one

For more information about job search expenses, see IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions . To determine your deduction, use Schedule A, Itemized Deductions ( PDF) This publication is available on or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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