Tax Tips: Job search expenses

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You can deduct certain costs of looking for a new job in your current occupation, if you itemize deductions on Schedule A. You can deduct these costs even if you're still employed, but looking for a new job in the same line of work. However, if you are looking for a job in a new line of work, you cannot deduct your costs.

The costs that you may be able to deduct include: employment agency fees, resume expenses (preparing, printing, mailing), advertising expenses, career counseling costs, meal and entertainment, and travel and transportation expenses related directly to the employment search.

If you have expenses that qualify, you would deduct them under "Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions" on Schedule A. The catch is that you will only benefit from this deduction if the expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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