Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Job seekers are facing a tough market that doesn’t appear to be getting any better. In September, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dig deeper. The real unemployment rate (U-6) is closer to 16.5 percent. About one in six people are unemployed or underemployed.
For job seekers, here are some tax tips that can help take the sting out of the job search.
The bad news for job seekers
The longer you spend searching for a job, the longer you will spend dipping into your savings. If your savings run out, you may be forced to rely on credit cards or rack up more debt.
All the tax benefits available to you are on Schedule A—Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions. Without enough expenses to itemize, you will get no benefits from these deductions. Even if you can itemize, your deductible unemployment benefits will be reduced by 2 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI), the number at the bottom of page one of Form 1040. For example, if your AGI is $25,000 (including taxable unemployment income), your expenses will be reduced by $500.
The good news for job seekers
For those lucky job hunters who can itemize, there are several qualifying expenses.
Resume writing: Have someone update and rewrite your resume. A professional knows the current market tricks to get an employer’s attention. Remember, you are competing in a world filled with highly skilled workers and professionals.
Job search counseling and career counseling: It takes creativity and boldness to find a job today. Connections and contacts are critically important to get your foot in the door.
Social media training: Mining the social media data stream can yield job-hunting gold. The cost to learn how to do this is deductible.
Mileage and travel: Track your miles when going to interviews, and definitely save all the receipts for your interview travel expenses. Document that the trip was only—or primarily—for the interview, though you may certainly play tourist or visit friends before or after the interview.
Postage and fees: You’ll be spending money on postage, printing, copying, supplies, access to certain websites, and so on. All those costs are deductible.
Additionally, your state may have special deductions or credits for job seekers. Scour your state’s tax forms or website to find them.
Non-deductible job-seeking expenses
You may not deduct the costs of hunting for a job in a new career or training for a new career. In addition, the following kinds of expenses are also not deductible:
Career counseling: This is a service that evaluates your skills and experience and helps you redefine your career path. However, if the service simply helps you find a better way to get hired in your current career, the costs would be deductible.
Classes to get licensed—for anything: For example, an accountant might take courses to help pass the CPA exam. Though the accountant is working for the same firm before and after the exam, performing the same tasks, the IRS considers being a CPA a new career. If a construction worker studies for the contractor exam, that equals a new career to the IRS and, again, is not deductible. This concept translates into every other area of work or business as well.
Don’t give up on job seeking
Regardless of whether or not your expenses are deductible, you must move forward. If your career has gone the way of the buggy whip, get retrained, or direct your energies into a career area where demand is growing. Don’t wait. Your funds are running out.
Making Sure You Get the Adoption Tax Credit
Filing Taxes: Seven Reasons to Adjust Your Withholding
Paying Taxes: How Is Your Vice Taxed?
Saving Money: Could You Benefit from the Savers Tax Credit?
Tax Tips and Tax Consequences of Failed Businesses
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.