Tag Archives: taxes

Save Money with Job Search Tax Deductions

Do the new 2018 tax rulings affect 2017 job search expenses?

With the recent passage of new tax laws, some are worried about what it means when filing taxes for the 2017 fiscal year. The good news? The law doesn’t affect your 2017 tax filing. As far as deducting job search expenses go, you won’t be able to do that for your 2018 tax filing.

There are just a few rules to keep in mind:

  1. You must search for jobs within your same profession path. Meaning if you’re a warehouse worker right now, you can’t deduct expenses incurred looking for a social media job. Same goes if you’re a nurse looking to get into accounting.
  2. Don’t let too much time pass between your last job and your new one. If you got a new job but the job search lasted too long, you can’t deduct those job expenses.
    • The IRS doesn’t specify how long this “substantial break” is, but notes that situations like stay-at-home moms getting back into the workforce after years at home do not qualify.
  3. If this is your first full-time job, expenses are not tax deductible. You must be progressing on your career path in a given position.
  4. If you’ve already had the expenses reimbursed in some way, they are not deductible.

And as for how to deduct them? Job search tax deductions must be claimed as miscellaneous deductions.

What then, are you able to deduct? Efile.com has the answers.

Employment and Outplacement Agency Fees

Some employment or outplacement agencies charge a fee for their services (Express Employment Professionals never does). Depending on your situation, and so long as you’re looking for a new job in your current profession, those fees may be deductible. Any agency fees paid back by your employer, however, will be taxable after the fact.

Moving Expenses

Certain moving expenses may be tax deductible. However, this is subject to two requirements (these requirements are waived if you are a member of the armed forces moving due to permanent change of station):

  • Your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your previous home than your old job was from that home. If your old job was 5 miles from your old home, your new job needs to be at least 55 miles away from that home.
  • For one year (12 months) after you move, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks. If you are self-employed, you must additionally work a total of at least 78 weeks in the two-year (24 months) period following your move.
    • So long as you are on track to meet these goals, you can deduct your moving expenses prior to completing them.

Other Expenses

Travel and transportation expenses are a gray area when it comes to deducting job search expenses. For travel expenses to be deductible, the main purpose of the trip must be for job searching, such as company research or a job interview. However, even if the trip is not completely devoted to job searching, some expenses may still be deductible. Your ability to deduct them will depend on how much of your trip was devoted to job search vs. how much time was spent doing other activities.

This article is purely informational and should not be taken as financial advice. As no two situations are the same, you will need to follow up with an accountant/financial advisor to see if your job expenses qualify as tax deductions.

Have any other questions about which job-search expenses are tax deductible? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 5 Job Opportunities for Winter

Jobs during winter seasonWith January in full swing, you may feel like your job search has turned as cold as the weather. But, that doesn’t mean job opportunities have gone away to hibernate like a den of bears. There are plenty of jobs that peak in the wintertime, which can be used to your advantage.

While those with long-term career goals may not find these types of jobs to have a lasting effect, they can be great opportunities to help build work experience and get your foot in the door with employers and decision makers. Here are some jobs that see a spike in hiring during the winter months.

Tax Preparer
Two things are inevitable – death and taxes. While many tax payers wait as close to the dreaded April 15 deadline as possible, everybody will be receiving W-2 forms from their employers at the beginning of the year. With H&R Block expected to hire about 80,000 tax preparers from January until the end of April, now is a great opportunity for you to sign up with accounting and tax services for some short-term employment that could last until spring. Those looking for extra accounting experience should jump at the chance to work in and become familiar with potential employers of interest.

Fitness Trainer
With a new year come New Year’s resolutions, and the most common resolution is to get back into shape. Fitness center attendance and membership peak in January, which can be a great opportunity for you to meet the demand for personal trainers and gym staff. Just as people are exercising for a new beginning, you can work to achieve a new beginning in your career.

Many high school juniors and seniors are starting to focus on getting ready for college now that the school year is half over. Anyone looking for an educational career can always tutor students looking to get ready for the SAT, ACT, or any other test needed for college placement. It’s great experience teaching students in a small group or one-on-one and can provide a supplemental income if you want to take advantage of the increased demand for substitute teachers during the cold and flu season.

Cruise Lines
Depending on your location, cruise lines are always looking for extra help during their peak business times in February. Vacationers from cold climates are looking to escape snow and biting winds for sunshine and sea air. If you don’t mind staying away from home for long periods of time, you can find working for cruise lines a great way to work on customer service and other soft skills. That way, you can take a small break from the job search while still developing skills.

If you live on the coast, you can also consider working at beach hotels and resorts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that housekeeping, food and beverage, and front desk opportunities nearly double during peak winter vacation time.

There’s No Business Like Snow Business
If you live in a colder region, there will inevitably be snow covering the ground. That means someone has to help plow the streets, tow the cars, and shovel the driveways. It may be manual labor, but it’s a great networking opportunity for you to get to know people in your community. Demonstrating your ability to work in any situation and grow relationships can help you find leads for a long-term job.

Don’t let the vernal equinox hold you back from finding work this year. If there’s a will, there’s a way you can find jobs that will lead to something greater and help you sharpen and develop useful skills. What are some ideas you’ve had for winter work?