Daily Deduction: Job Search Expenses


Were you job hunting in 2008?

Preparing for and traveling to job interviews can be costly. Fortunately, you can deduct your job search expenses. The deduction covers a variety of expenses and can help you save some money for if you need to move for that job you got. (By the way, those moving expenses are also deductible.)

For instance, you can deduct the money that you paid to a professional recruiter or an employment agency.  The cost of hiring a resume coach is also deductible.  And if you missed free resume day at FedEx (Stock Quote: FDX), don’t worry; printing and mailing costs are deductible too.

Don’t forget to deduct your travel expenses:  The cost of airfare, mileage for your car, hotel expenses, meals and incidentals such as cab fare are all deductible.  Of course, the primary purpose of your trip must have been your job search.  If you took a week-long trip to Las Vegas and stayed in the Bellagio (Stock Quote: MGM), but your only interview was a fifteen minute meet-and-greet at the local Citibank branch (Stock Quote: C), you definitely shouldn’t deduct your airfare and lodging.  But by all means, deduct the cost of that "wild" taxi ride to the bank.

As always, the deduction comes with a catch or two.  If your new employer reimbursed the cost of your job search, you cannot deduct it.  Worse yet, you can only deduct the expenses of your 2008 job search if you were looking for a new position in your current field.  If you are switching occupations or looking for your first job, your expenses are not deductible.

Don’t forget that you can claim your expenses even if you weren’t able to find a job.  And if you were one of the lucky people who landed a new gig in the down economy, check back with us later to learn which work-related expenses you can deduct as an employee.    

Also, be sure to check out the complete archive of Daily Deductions for more tax saving opportunities.

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