NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Were you unemployed in 2012 and looking for work? If you itemize, you can deduct job search expenses to look for a job in your present line of work as a Miscellaneous Expense on Schedule A, subject to the 2% of AGI exclusion.
You can claim:
- Fees paid to employment agencies, “head hunters” and consulting firms for securing a job, preparing a resumé or career counseling.
- The cost of typing, printing and mailing resumés, and assembling portfolios of your work.
- Advertising for a job, such as in the “job wanted” column of the local newspaper.
- Telephone calls to set up interviews.
- Newspapers and periodicals bought for employment ads.
- Round-trip travel or transportation to job interviews, including lodging and 50% of meals if you are away from home overnight. You can deduct 55.5 cents per mile for driving to and from interviews.
You can’t deduct expenses to look for work in a new trade or field. I am an accountant and tax preparer, and I cannot deduct my expenses to look for a job as a brick layer.
The costs of finding your first job are also not deductible. A new college graduate cannot deduct his or her job search costs.
You do not have to actually get a new job to be able to deduct the expenses.