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Video: Tax Deductions for Job Hunters

Updated for Tax Year 2017


OVERVIEW

Searching for a new job can run up costs. Can you deduct them on your tax return? Yes, but with a few limitations.


 

The article below is accurate for your 2017 taxes, the one that you file this year by the April 2018 deadline, including a few retroactive changes due to the passing of tax reform. Some tax information below will change next year for your 2018 taxes, but won’t impact you this year. Learn more about tax reform here.

 

Video transcript:

Hi, I’m Adrienne from TurboTax with an update on tax deductions for job hunters.

Searching for a new job can run up costs. Can you deduct them on your tax return? Usually with a few limitations.

Job search expenses are deductible when you look for work in the same occupation. Expenses incurred hunting for a brand new occupation, even after a layoff, are not eligible. Nor can you deduct expenses when looking for a job for the first time or after a substantial break between jobs.

Job searchers sticking to the same occupation could enjoy the following deductions:

  • Airfare and lodging if an interview requires travel or an overnight visit to another city. Now keep in mind, you can only deduct travel-related expenses if they are primarily looking for work.
  • Outplacement services. But if you take a deduction and an employer reimburses you later, you'll have to treat the reimbursement as income.
  • Child and dependent care costs, but only for the time during which you are absent or unavailable. Be sure you can document that you were job hunting when care was provided.
  • Postage and/or shipping charges when sending work-related material to prospective employers, telephone calls that relate to your search, and resume printing and copying.

For more information about deductions for job seekers and other tax topics, visit TurboTax.com.

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


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