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Tax Info Every Job Seeker Should Know

IRS job search tax breaks

Image by Sira Anamwong, via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the long run, Career Coaching always pays for itself – the counseling you get on salary negotiations, bonuses, vacation time and simply being employed faster take care of that!

But what about in the short run? Is there a way for a job seeker to make their job search and career coaching more affordable? The answer is yes, courtesy of the IRS.

First off, Uncle Sam’s not dumb. The deduction that the IRS provides for job hunters isn’t set up for people who answer a want-ad here or there. The people who get the biggest refunds are the unemployed people who get professional help with their search. Why is this? Because the more money you ultimately make, the more money the IRS makes. That’s why it offers a deduction that helps those who seek professional help – because they’ll be making more money sooner. It’s also why:

  • If you’re unemployed with a severance package, the IRS will charge its full share of income taxes on your check, but it won’t tax your outplacement benefits (job-search coaching paid for by your former employer) if that’s part of the package
  • If you’re employed, but need more work, the IRS won’t tax money you spend on school and training to get ahead in your career

Please see your accountant on what you need to do to document all of your expenses and get the full potential of your deductions.