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Tax Breaks

Deduct Job-Hunting Expenses on Your 2016 Tax Return

The tax break can apply even if you didn't land a new job.

If you looked for a job in 2016 in the same line of work as your current or most recent profession, you can deduct some of your costs. Qualifying expenses can be written off even if you didn't land a new job.

See Also: 16 IRS Audit Red Flags

Deductible costs include transportation expenses incurred as part of the job search, including cab fares, parking, tolls and 54 cents a mile for driving your own car. You can also write off food and lodging if your search takes you away from home overnight. Don’t forget fees paid to an employment agency, as well as costs to print resumes and business cards.

You’ll need to itemize to get the tax break, and such expenses can be deducted only to the extent that your total miscellaneous expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Job-hunting expenses incurred while looking for your first job don't qualify.

To learn more about miscellaneous deductions, see IRS Publication 529.

Check out all 23 commonly overlooked tax deductions.