Deduction Dangers, Part 2: Job Expenses

Find out which job expenses are tax deductible -- plus, some costly mistakes to avoid! 

Laura Adams, MBA
4-minute read
Episode #261

How to Deduct Home Office Expenses

If you use a part of your residence for work, you may be able to deduct a portion of your home expenses and depreciation. But here’s the deal: Just doing some paperwork at home on the weekends doesn’t count as having a legitimate home office.

To qualify for this deduction, your home must be your principal office or a place where you meet customers on a regular basis for the convenience of your boss. For complete information, be sure to check out IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home.

How to Deduct Job Search Expenses

The last deduction I mentioned is job-hunting expenses. If you’re looking for a new job, you can deduct many expenses related to your search—even if you haven’t landed a new job yet. 

But there’s a catch: You must be looking for a job in your same field. So if you’re trying to make a major career change or you’re hunting for your very first job, those expenses won’t qualify for a deduction.

Some examples of tax-deductible job-hunting expenses include:

  • Employment agency fees
  • Resume costs and postage
  • Travel for interviews

Take a look at IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses for more information.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a trusted and frequent source for the national media. Her book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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