DEFINITION of 'Job Hunting Expenses'

Costs that individuals may be allowed to deduct on their federal tax returns to reduce their total taxable income. Job hunting expenses, officially called job search expenses, are deductible if you are searching for a job in the same line of work. Qualifying job hunting expenses include fees paid to employment and outplacement agencies, costs to prepare and mail resumes, and travel expenses for a trip primarily to look for a new job.

BREAKING DOWN 'Job Hunting Expenses'

Job hunting expenses are not deductible when searching for your first job after completing school, when searching for a job in a new line of work or when there has been a substantial break in your employment. Also, they fall into the miscellaneous itemized deductions category, meaning that they can only be deducted to the extent that job hunting expenses plus other miscellaneous expenses exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

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