Deductible job hunting-related expenses include:
- Automobile mileage
- Train fare
- Taxi fare
- Printing and mailing costs related to your resume
- Books (like my new book ) that help you search for jobs
- New clothes and shoes you buy expressly for wearing to job interviews (maybe…)
Of course, you should check the relevant IRS publications or consult a qualified tax professional for the details.
The key thing to remember (other than the abovementioned same-field test) is, only unreimbursed expenses can be deducted on your income tax return. So, for instance, if a potential employer reimburses you for your flight, you won’t be able to claim that expense as a deduction. The IRS will know about this reimbursement because 1) the employer will require your social security number before cutting you a check, and 2) the employer will report this reimbursement to the IRS (along with your name and social security number) in order to claim a tax benefit for itself. So don’t try to cheat! But if you have legitimate, unreimbursed job-hunting expenses, deduct them!
(Note: you can also deduct unreimbursed moving expenses when you relocate to a new locale for your new job, if you meet certain IRS criteria.)