Deduct Your Job Search Expenses

It’s the end of December, and next month, we’ll all be organizing receipts and getting ready to file income tax forms.You should know that your unemployment compensation, severance and distributions you took from 401 K or pension accounts are taxable income. If you’ve moved this year, you’ll want to make sure you get your 1099 form in order to report your unemployment income.

The Form 1099-G is mailed to you by January 31st  following the end of the previous calendar year.  The form is mailed to your last official address of record on your claim.  If you change your address and there is an active forwarding address on file with the post office, the form will be forwarded to your new address.

If you did not receive your Form 1099-G due to an address change, you must mail or FAX a change of address containing your name, old and new address, county of residence, only the last four numbers of your social security number and signature to:

Department of Economic Opportunity
Special Payments Unit
P.O. Drawer 5350
Tallahassee, FL  32314-5350.
FAX # (850) 921–3938
Your letter must also include the calendar year requested. You can find information on the form 1099-G here.

If you had costs related to your job search this year, you can deduct some of the expenses.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about deducting these costs: (from

  1. Your expenses must be for a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses related to a search for a job in a new occupation. If your employer or another party reimburses you for an expense, you may not deduct it.
  2. You can deduct employment and job placement agency fees you pay while looking for a job.
  3. You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing copies of your resume to prospective employers.
  4. If you travel to look for a new job, you may be able to deduct your travel expenses. However, you can only deduct them if the trip is primarily to look for a new job.
  5. You can’t deduct job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one.
  6. You can’t deduct job search expenses if you’re looking for a job for the first time.
  7. You usually will claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. You can deduct only the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income.

For more information, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This booklet is available on or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

1 thought on “Deduct Your Job Search Expenses

  1. Prasad Joshi

    If any person remains unemployed for long time duration then it would be definitely a stage of expensive job search. Going for an online job search website is also a best option but it will also cost for internet charges. Indirectly it could also be affect on mentality of job seeker. If there is no any income source but still your money is going in vain then it will of course be a big financial issue.

    In this case this article could be a ray of hope. Although any one is not getting job, there should be some saving of money. Thanks for such a useful post which is useful for every job seeker.


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