Monday, April 06, 2009

Tax Tips for Job Hunters

More and more people are losing their jobs in this country every day. As such there are thousands of normally employed Americans out looking for a new job. Luckily, there are numerous tax breaks and deductions available to help those in this particular position. To assist the readers of my blog that are actively looking for new employment, I have compiled the following list of tax tips for job hunters.

Keep Organized

While being out of a job and collecting unemployment can be disorienting, it is a good idea to remain vigilant with your organization and recordkeeping. You do not want to lose track of your financial documents and tax records. The costs of job hunting can be used to your advantage come tax season, so keep all receipts and documents related to your search for a new job.

Travel Costs

Travel expenses spent while traveling to an interview for a prospective employer can be written off. Although only 50% of your meal expense can be written off, airfare, hotels, and other, related travel expenses can be deducted in full.

Advertising Expenses

If you decide to post an ad for yourself on a job board, make sure you keep the receipt!

The IRS will allow you to deduct any costs of advertising your services if made while unemployed. This includes online ads, periodical and newspaper fees, and other ads.

Career Counseling

If you seek the advice of a career counselor while unemployed, those costs can also be deducted. Just be sure to keep all receipts, as well as a business card of the counselor you spoke with.

Legal Fees

If offered a position that requires an employment contract, then you might consider having a legal professional look it over. Not only are the legal fees tax deductible, the review may save you from getting into a contact that you do not understand.

Résumé Prep

Getting a job without even a minimal résumé these days can be tough. Fortunately, the costs to create, prepare, and send out your résumé are all eligible unemployment deductions. This includes stamps, envelopes, résumé programs, and mailing costs.

Employment Agency

Many unemployed taxpayers are choosing to get some help from an employment agent. If you do enlist the help of an employment agency to land the right job, you can probably write off any related fees.

Moving Costs Paid

If you need to re-locate for a new position, those costs may also be deductible. However, there are strict distance minimums and dozens of other qualifications. If you are going to deduct moving expenses then I highly recommend you check with a tax specialist before making any decisions.

Still See a Pro

Even though you are currently unemployed, and possibly a little strapped for cash, it is still advised you seek professional help on your taxes. In many cases, a tax preparer can point out helpful credit and deductions you may have missed. They can also make sure that you qualify for all the deductions you do claim. Finally, professional tax preparation services are also tax deductible.

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