Tax Breaks For Job Seekers

Tax season might make most American’s cringe, but if you’re unemployed, it can bring relief to you and your saving’s account.

What can I deduct?

While it may not be much, unemployed job seekers can deduct most job-search expenses such as:

    • The cost of creating, printing and sending resumes
    • Job search website fees such as subscriptions
    • Employment and outplacement agency fees
    • Costs associated with headhunters
    • Airfare, gas money and parking fees you spend on traveling to job interviews
    • In some cases, professional resume writing services

The best way to find out if you are eligible to take advantage of these tax breaks is to consult with the IRS or a tax professional. The IRS offers toll free numbers and free tax advice on their website that can help you. Also, always document and keep track of all of your expenses incase you do get audited and need proof for what you spent.

Am I eligible to deduct?

The government does put some restrictions on qualifying for these tax deductions. Unfortunately, the following do not qualify:

    • Career changers looking for new jobs in a different career field.
    • First time job seekers such as recent graduates.
    • Taxpayers that are re-entering the workforce after a long gap such as parents returning to the workforce.

Another important qualification to keep in mind is that your job search costs must exceed a certain percent of your adjusted gross income in order for you to qualify to deduct these costs, which shouldn’t be a problem if you are currently unemployed.

Can’t pay your taxes on time? The IRS announced this month that it will give qualifying taxpayers a six-month grace period on “failure-to-pay” penalties, which are typically assessed each month a taxpayer is late paying their taxes. You can also request for a payment plan if your bills are $50,000 or higher this year, which is double what they have offered in the past.

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