Monday, February 02, 2009

60 Seconds With Roni Deutch

The New York Post recently posted an article on me titled “60 Seconds With Roni Deutch.” The interviewer, Brian Moore, asked me about tax breaks for Americans looking for new employment, check out the interview below.

W-2s and 1099s went out at the end of last week. How can those looking for work cut into what they owe the IRS?

Uncle Sam lets you deduct expenses related to the search for a new job. But here's the caveat: It's got to be in the same line of work.

Here's what you can deduct: employment and outplacement agency fees. Resume services. Print and mail costs, including overnight mail. Any type of ad you place to find a job. Telephone calls, including long distance. Any travel expenses - hotels, food, rental cars, plane tickets.

Is there a catch?

Expenses are only deductible if you itemize them on your tax return, so you can't take the standard deduction. And you can only deduct expenses that exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. So if you had an AGI of $30,000, you can only deduct expenses over $600.

Also, the IRS wants you to look for your new job either a) while you still have your current job, or b) very quickly after you left your old job. If there was a substantial break between your last job and the time you finally got off your butt to look for your new job, they're not going to let you take any deductions.

Are moving expenses deductible, if you relocate for a job?

Yes - unless your new employer paid them. If they reimburse you for any job-hunting expenses, you've got to include that as income, because the employer is going let the IRS know. Don't get caught with your pants down.

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