Acton Networkers


Job Search Tax Deductions


Contact the references for up to date information.

Your Comments on This Section Are Welcome


     The IRS is the ultimate source for information. Its "home page" is But we have also provided other, perhaps more understandable references for you below.

      The IRS provides "Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions". See This document is in PDF format. If your browser is not set to open this type of document directly, you should RIGHT CLICK on the above link, and save the file to disk.

There is a FREE PDF-file reader for computers and handheld (PDA) devices called Acrobat from Adobe. (WINDOWS users: go to Acrobat Reader 5.1 - English for Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP 8.6 MB)

Job Search Expenses

     You can deduct certain expenses you have in looking for a new job in your present occupation, even if you do not get a new job. You cannot deduct these expenses if:

1.      You are looking for a job in a new occupation,

2.      There was a substantial break between the ending of your last job and your looking for a new one, or

3.       You are looking for a job for the first time.

     You use Schedule A, Miscellaneous deductions on your tax return to record these expenses. Only the total deductionsabove 2%of your adjusted income are deductible.  If you have no income, or if your expenses do not exceed 2% of your adjusted income, then there is no benefit.

Job Search Expense Record(Always do a virus check if you download)

Employment and outplacement agency fees

You can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees you pay in looking for a new job in your present occupation.

Employer pays you back

If, in a later year, your employer pays you back for employment agency fees, you must include the amount you receive in your gross income up to the amount of your tax benefit in the earlier year. See Recoveries in IRS Publication 525.

Employer pays the employment agency

If your employer pays the fees directly to the employment agency and you are not responsible for them, you do not include them in your gross income.


You can deduct amounts you spend for typing, printing, and mailing copies of a résumé to prospective employers if you are looking for a new job in your present occupation.

Travel and transportation expenses

If you travel to an area and, while there, you look for a new job in your present occupation; you may be able to deduct travel expenses to and from the area. You can deduct the travel expenses if the trip is primarily to look for a new job. The amount of time you spend on personal activity compared to the amount of time you spend in looking for work is important in determining whether the trip is primarily personal or is primarily to look for a new job.

Even if you cannot deduct the travel expenses to and from an area, you can deduct the expenses of looking for a new job in your present occupation while in the area.

You may choose to use the standard mileage rate to figure your car expenses. The standard mileage rate for 2012 is 50 cents per mile as per,,id=216048,00.html .


50% of meal costs are deductible

Legal Fees

You can deduct legal fees related to doing or keeping your job.

Other Expenses

Paper, toner, stamps, business-cards etc are all deductible.

Home Office

This is a gray area. Check out the following link :,,id=97881,00.html

Other References

This site has information about types of deductions that are allowed, the forms used to report your expenses, and the records to keep.

Other Information

General pointers on what can be deducted (some duplication with above)

  • Mileage to and from Networking Meetings  - at $0.365 per mile
  • Cost of attending WIND or 495_NSG Meetings: “donation” and mileage
  • Parking and Mileage for free Job Fairs
  • Cost of attending a lecture or meeting where you are networking.
  • Lunch/coffee meeting – mileage at $0.365 per mile and 50% of meal costs
  • Cost of newspapers/magazines purchased for job search.
  • Connection cost for Internet required for job search, ie: upgrade to broadband.
  • Work related education “to maintain or improve your skill required in your present work”.
  • Dues to professional organizations, IEEE, ASHA, FENG, (“your acronym here”)
  • Phone costs related to job search – maybe you have your Cell Phone just for the job search  or have data to support how much of your phone use is dedicated to employment.
  • Software for education, for tax calculation.
  • Hardware you purchased specific for automating your job search – like a PDA, or additional disk drive.
  • Office miscellaneous expenses – like paper, ink cartridges, folders, calendar, pens
  • Business Card printing
  • US Mail costs.
  • Training Courses for maintaining your required skill level