Whether you were employed or unemployed and looking for a new job in 2012, there are several tax breaks that can be claimed on your income tax return if you know where to look. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service can help job seekers uncover commonly overlooked deductions and credits that can increase your refund amount or lessen your tax burden.
Unemployment in Florida reached 8.0 percent in December according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Extra money from a tax return is a welcomed surprise for anyway, but especially those without a job. Looking for a job can be a full-time job itself, and many job seekers miss the many tax credits and deductions available to them because they don’t realize they qualify. While the job search experience is different for everyone, a knowledgeable tax advisor can work with you to accurately claim all the deductions and credits that apply to your situation.
To help you get started, our tax preparers at Jackson Hewitt have offered a list of job search-related expenses you may be able to claim as itemized deductions on your tax return:
- Preparing and sending your resume - You can deduct amounts you spend for preparing and sending copies of your resume to prospective employers, as long as you are looking for a new job in your present occupation. Resume paper, printing costs, long-distance calls, faxes and postage, are all tax deductible.
- Employment agency fees - You can deduct employment / recruitment agency fees you pay while looking for a job in your present occupation. If your employer pays you back in a later year for employment agency fees, you must include the amount you receive in your gross income, up to the amount of your tax benefit in the earlier year.
- Travel expenses - If you travel to an area to look for a new job in your present occupation, you may be able to deduct travel expenses to and from the area, including meal and lodging expenses. You can only deduct the travel expenses if the trip is primarily to look for a new job. The amount of time you spend on personal activity compared to the amount of time you spend looking for work is important in determining whether the trip is primarily personal or is primarily to look for a new job.
- Moving expenses - If you secured a new job in 2012, but the position was more than 50 miles from your old job, you may be able to claim the expenses of moving yourself, your family, your pets and your household goods and personal vehicles. Moving expenses are a direct deduction against income on Form 1040.
The above are just a few of the possible tax benefits job seekers are able to claim. A knowledgeable tax preparer like those at your local Jackson Hewitt office can help identify which credits and deductions apply to your individual situation. You can find a Jackson Hewitt office nearest you by visiting www.JacksonHewitt.com and entering your ZIP code.