Let the Government Pay For Your Career Expenses

One of the best kept secrets in job-hunting: The government has offered to pay part of your expenses!

You read correctly: Career expenses, including fees incurred for career counseling, professional resume writing, and job-search coaching, are tax-deductible for everone with only a few exceptions:

Your are NOT eligible for career-related tax deductions if:

  1. You’re looking for your very first job
  2. You’re looking for a job in a different line of work
  3. You’re looking for a job after a substantial break from your last job

Otherwise, you’re golden.

According to IRS Publication 529–which deals primarily with job-search expenses–a job seeker can deduct certain expenses related to looking for a new job, EVEN IF he/she never actually lands a new job. These expenses should be listed as “miscellaneous itemized deductions” on Schedule A (Form 1040)

Check with Publication 529 from the IRS to see just how much you’re allowed to deduct.

Among the approved expenses are

  • Resume Services. Eligible fees include costs to pay a professional to develop your resume as well as paper, ink, and mailing expenses.
  • Career Consultants & Outplacement Agencies. Hourly charges and packaged prices for personal assessments, counseling, coaching, consulting, advice-giving, and the like are all tax deductible.
  • Travel & Relocation Expenses. Any trips, including international trips, airfare, hotels, and car rentals are tax deductible as long as they’re related to your job search. Relocation expenses for a family move are acceptable as well as long as it’s due to your job situation changing. Even the (overpriced) gas you put in your car and your mileage is fair game–if only to drive across town for an interview. Check IRS Publication 463 for more on these rates.

The government wants you to get back to work doing what you do best to make a contribution at the city, state, and/or national level.

Take them up on their offer. Hire a professional to help sort you out and expedite your journey back to employment.

Stay on the BrightSide.

28 January 2009 | Interviewing, Job Market, Mature Workers, Resumes | Comments