Spring is right around the corner, and Uncle Sam is lurking there, too. If you spent any time in 2014 searching for a job, I hope you kept track of money spent on that job search. Not many people know that you can deduct job search costs as miscellaneous expenses (if you itemize). It’s important to note that qualifying expenses can be written off even if you didn’t interview for, or were hired for a new job, as long as you were looking to stay in the same role or industry.
According to www.IRS.gov, Publication 529, these expenses can be deducted to the extent that your total miscellaneous expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. (Entry-level candidates…your job-hunting expenses incurred while looking for your first job don’t qualify.) Deductible costs include, but aren’t limited to:
• Transportation expenses incurred as part of the job search, including traveling to interviews. The current mileage reimbursement is $.56 cents a mile for driving your own car, plus parking and tolls.
• Food and lodging expenses if your search takes you away from home overnight.
• Cab/public transportation fares.
• Employment agency and career coaching fees (resume writing, interview coaching, etc.)
• Costs of printing resumes, business cards, handbills, postage.
• Advertising and networking (this would include membership fees to in-person networking groups and business associations, and online memberships such as a premium LinkedIn account.
Make sure to consult with your accountant on each of these items, and if you’ll be looking for a job in 2015, save those receipts!