How to Make Claims on Deductions for Job Search Expenses

job interview

Congress remains unwilling to ease the long-standing restrictions on claiming deductions for job search-expenses.

Employees are able to deduct search expenses only if they itemize on Form 1040’s Schedule A under the general heading of miscellaneous expenses, a broadly defined category that includes fees for advice on taxes or investments.

Itemizers can’t write off all of their miscellaneous outlays for the year in question. They can deduct just the portion of expenditures exceeding 2 percent of adjusted gross income. Anything below the 2 percent threshold is nondeductible.

Another curtailment prohibits deductions for most miscellaneous expenses by persons subject to the alternative minimum tax.

For instance, Hester Dimmesdale works in publishing and fears she soon will be sacked. Hester anticipates an AGI of $100,000 and that she will shell out at least $3,000 for job hunting and other miscellaneous expenses, such as her payments to writers’ associations for membership dues and attending meetings.

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About Julian Block

Julian Block

Attorney and author Julian Block is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times), an “accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal), and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning magazine). More information about his books can be found at


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