Taxing Situations on the Job Hunt

Not all tax deductions are created equal.


We often use the aphorism that the job search is a job itself. Like most maxims, it’s easy to take for granted — until there’s actual personal value at stake.

When you consider your relationship with the IRS, your job hunt does indeed take on a decidedly entrepreneurial cast; in many ways, you’re hanging out your own shingle and reporting the results of your business venture by April 15.

The government is aware that it takes money to make money (to deploy another slogan), and the U.S. tax code allows you to deduct many expenses related to your job search, from travel to training to supplies up to and including some relocation costs. But be aware: Not all deductions are created equal, and faulty assumptions can put you at odds with the feds.

Ladders ’ editors are not finance professionals, and our first, best advice is to check with an accountant or other qualified financial advisor about your specific situation. To get you started, however, we’ve talked to pros about your prospects for happy returns from your job search.