Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Job Search and Tax Season

Did you know that federal income taxes are not due until April 18 this year? Yes, Emancipation Day, a holiday also celebrated in Washington, DC falls on Friday April 15 this year, which means IRS offices will be closed that day. Therefore, tax returns will be due the next business day which is Monday April 18.

Even with all of that extra time (3 whole days) to complete your taxes, this is the perfect time to gather up information about your job search expenses.

Job search expenses can qualify as a tax deduction (see the IRS web site or your tax accountant for complete details). In general, the money you spent to attend networking meetings, the mileage you incurred going to and from the meetings, and the fees you paid a job search coach or resume writer can be submitted for inclusion as deductions on your taxes. This is a great time to start getting that information together.

If you have not been keeping a detailed list of the events or mileage, you can rebuild some of that information.

• A good place to check for information is your e-mail systems Sent folder.
For example you can find the e-mails when you RSVP’d to meeting invitations.

• If you paid by PayPal, there will be a record within PayPal of that

• Most on-line banking systems have search capabilities and you can print out
canceled checks you made out for services or meeting fees.

• Look at your 2010 calendar and create a record of the events you attended.

• Use MapQuest or other on-line mapping system to get the mileage to places
you went. Don’t forget to multiple the one way mileage by two to account for
the round trip and include tolls and cost of parking if applicable.

• Add in the cost of books you bought, training you took, business cards you
ordered, and the cost of duplicating your resume.

Print out the information that you find so you have some way to substantiate these expenses; if you think the job search isn’t fun, try a tax audit.

You paid good money toward your job search and should not pay taxes unnecessarily on that amount. This is a great time to start getting the information together and consulting the IRS web site or your tax accountant for complete details on taxable job search expenses.

Judi Adams
The Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach

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