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No tax deduction for first-time job search

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in Small Business Tax

Q. My son just graduated from college. Can he deduct his job-hunting expenses? H.K., Pensacola, Fla.

A. Unfortunately, no. Generally, you can write off qualified expenditures—such as costs of producing and distributing résumés, travel to interviews and employment agency fees—only if you’re looking for a job in the same line of work. But deductions aren’t allowed if you’re searching for your first job or you’re switching careers. Also, you get no deduction if there’s a substantial break between your last job and your new job search.

Tip: Qualified job-hunting expenses are treated as a miscellaneous itemized deduction item subject to a deduction floor of 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI).

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