TurboTax FAQ
TurboTax FAQ
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Can I deduct job-search expenses?

Job-search expenses while looking for new work in your current occupation are an allowable deduction, even if you don't land a job.

The expenses must be directly and exclusively related to your job search, and could include things like:

  • Preparing your résumé.
  • Printing and mailing costs.
  • Posting your résumé and placing ads.
  • Phone and computer expenses.
  • Food and lodging for out-of-town job-hunting trips.
  • Mileage.
  • Employment and outplacement agency fees.
  • Registration fees for conventions and other networking opportunities specific to your line of work.

Job search expenses aren't fully deductible as they are subject to the 2% rule. Here are some more limitations:

  • Expenses incurred while searching for a job in a new occupation aren't deductible.
    • This means that most newly-graduated high-school and college students won't be able to claim this deduction, unless they were already engaged in the same line of work while in school. 
  • You can't deduct things like a new outfit for a job interview or a computer you bought to help with the job search because those things could (theoretically) be used for other occasions.
  • Home office expenses don't qualify as job-search expenses.
  • Expenses aren't deductible if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one (for example, if you left your job 15 years ago to raise a family and are now trying to re-enter the workforce).

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