What's the biggest perk of getting a new job? Where to begin: that first week when you spend hours "reviewing" the company handbook before being given an actual task? The "new employee lunch" that leads you to order the most expensive thing on the menu? And then there's the general lack of accountability that you can cruise on for a few months because, you know, you're new.
But the new employee benefits aren't limited to just the workplace. Even the IRS wants to congratulate you on your new gig by offering you some sweet deductions come tax time. And there are some surprises in there: From job hunting to moving expenses, you'll find you're eligible for quite a few deductions if you itemize. Just keep in mind that if you opt for the standard deduction, you won't be able to take any other ones, so make sure you're not missing out by not itemizing.
Let's start with searching for that job. Did you know that the IRS will let you deduct the cost of your job hunt? You just need to make sure you meet the IRS's criteria. First, your job search has to be for a position in the same occupation you currently have. And if an employer reimburses you for any job hunt-related costs, those expenses are not eligible for write-offs. But there's a whole host of things that do qualify: the cost of preparing or mailing your resume, any job placement agency fees you had to pay for a search -- even the cost of travel to look for a job [source: IRS].
A lot of new jobs also require a move. And if that's the case, you're in luck: Not only do you have a fancy new job, but you also get to deduct a boatload (perhaps literally, if that's how you transported your stuff?) of expenses. One word of caution: You do need to meet certain standards to make sure your deductions qualify. For instance, your new job must be a certain distance from your old home, and your start date must be close to the same time as your move. (The IRS has a lot more guidance about how that works [source: IRS]).
If you meet those requirements, you can deduct all sorts of moving expenses for a new job. You can deduct the cost of travel to get you and your personal belongings to the new location, and even write off storage for a certain period. While you can't write off the food you eat while you're getting to the new place, lodging is eligible. And keep in mind you can write off the expenses of the entire household, not just yours. Bonus? That includes transporting the family dog (and cat and iguana and goldfish) to your new house.
So don't overlook that new job when tax season rolls around. Check out what exemptions you qualify for when Uncle Sam comes calling.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "Job hunting expenses." Aug. 4, 2014. (Oct. 27, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc455.html
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "Job search expenses can be tax deductible." July 18, 2012. (Oct. 27, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/uac/Job-Search-Expenses-Can-be-Tax-Deductible
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "Publication 521." 2013. (Oct. 27, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/publications/p521/index.html
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "Topic 455." Aug. 18, 2014. (Oct. 27, 2014) http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc455.html