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Repay yourself for job search expenses

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Many, perhaps most people are not aware that money spent searching for work or to find a job is eligible for a tax deduction. Any “reasonable and necessary” expenses you incur when searching for a job may be written off or deducted on your tax returns filed for the year you have expenses in search of your next position. There are three general exceptions to remember: 1) you cannot be looking for a job in a new occupation, 2) there was a substantial break between the ending of your last job and looking for a new one and 3) you are looking for a job for the first time.
Allowable expenses can include fees for resume and cover letter preparation or any fees associated with posting your resume. Other common job search expenses include the cost to fax or mail your resume to contact potential employers via telephone, e.g. long distance charges, Travel expenses you may encounter when driving or using public transportation to and from the library, Workforce Centers, employment agencies or outplacement service offices as well as job interviews are deductable. The standard IRS allowance for 2009 is 55 cents per mile. If you are required to fly to another city for a job interview, you may deduct your airfare, hotel, and meal expenses. If you pay for a rental car, taxi, parking fees, or other travel expenses, they may all be deducted as job search expenses. Tuition or training expenses for courses taken or Continuing Education Units (CEU) needed for licensing, technical manuals and books or supplies including special tools necessary for employment in your field my be allowed. Certain research and other expenses to attend specialized training also qualify or to attend job related workshops or seminars can be deducted. The list of job search related expenses is constantly being updated, it is important to check the IRS publication 529 web site for the current list and appropriate tax forms and instructions. If you have any questions, consult a professional tax accountant.
You can start today by finding an online mileage log template you like (there are hundreds), print and keep it in your car to track every mile driven related to your job search. Start a folder or envelope where you can keep all receipts. There are probably some expenses you may have already incurred that can still be included without a paper receipt - check with your accountant how s/he recommends you can record expenses without one. Get duplicate copies of receipts you no longer have and use bank and credit card statements for verification of legitimate employment search expenses. If you think of your job search as an investment in your future you will want to take full advantage of every opportunity available while spending money now to earn money later.  Subscribe by clicking link above to receive latest articles by Terry or chat live: click here