How To Make Taxes And Your Job Search Easier To Handle

Job Search

how to make taxes and your job search easier to handle
There is a lot of information out there on tax filing and job hunting and keeping your information organized. It’s an important subject because, according to the IRS, some job hunting expenses are deductible. The problem is figuring out how to keep track of all the expenses so you have the paperwork to prove your deduction claims.

Pilers, Filers, and Technophiles

The way that will work best for your purposes is the way that you naturally do things. Most of us are either pilers, filers, or technophiles.
If you are a piler, it’s obvious because there probably is a pile or two in your immediate vicinity right now. You tend to toss things somewhere to deal with later, and instead of going against your habits, how about having a box or basket to toss all receipts into? If you can create several boxes and make them look good, you can sort as you toss, but some of us pilers would rather pitch it all in one place and take an evening to sort it at tax time. Pilers have a hard time going through extra steps even if a nice system is set up, but boxes — that’s just walls on the pile. It works.
If you are a filer, you might already have an impressive system set up with files and labels. Just make sure there are files for any job search expenses and that you put anything remotely deductible in a file so you can find out if it is needed at tax time. Filers need to make sure they aren’t so organized they over-separate files into overwhelming divisions of minutiae. It’s okay to file by month instead of subject, for instance. If you find yourself unable to file something that may be important, make a file for “may be important stuff” and put it in.
If you are a technophile, you love the tech stuff and you are great at scanning documents and putting that information in cyberspace or hard drive. The problem is when you lose track of where your stuff is or that hard drive crashes. There is a lot out there for technophiles who want to keep documentation electronically, but make sure you have backed it up for emergencies.
It’s true that some job search expenses are deductible┬ábut only if you handle your documentation information efficiently. Whether you are a piler, filer, or technophile, the challenge is to figure out what works for you and do it.

Good News! Some Job Search Expenses Are Deductible!

Job Search

good news! some job search expenses are deductible!
Sometimes it might feel like all the money you spend trying to find a job just blows away in the wind. But that really isn’t true if your money was being invested in your future career because that investment will bring a return eventually. Until then, you might want to check out what the IRS says about deductions for individuals: under “Job Search Expenses,” there are some that can help. Of course, there are restrictions, and you will have to do your homework to see if you qualify.
The IRS does not allow deductions for first-time job seekers, those who have been long-unemployed, or those switching career fields. You have to be looking for a new job in your current occupation. For example, if you have been a carpenter, there will be no deductions for your search to be a pastry chef, but there might be if you are looking for better-paying carpentry jobs.
If you qualify, you can deduct these things:

  • Employment and outplacement agency fees — unless your employer pays you back or pays the agency
  • Resume costs — if you are looking for a new job in your present occupation, you can deduct the amounts spent on preparing and distribution
  • Travel expenses — this gets tricky because it depends on the amount of time your trip is devoted to your job search, but there will be some deductions in most cases

If you aren’t in the habit of keeping receipts for tax deduction purposes, you lose the chance to do it. Careful record keeping of your job search and employment expenses can keep some of that money from just blowing away in the wind. Itemized deductions need to be proven and need to be accurate for the current tax rules, so talking to an expert about your individual return is a good idea.