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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Job Seeking Expenses (tax)

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Question
I know I need to keep track of all receipts for mass transit and mileage for driving to interviews (and a few other expenses that no longer really pertain (like phone, etc. -- because I pay one price now).

I had a few other things to ask (about expenses).

Are any of these things expense eligible?

1. Mileage/transit to a networking event (for the purpose of jobseeking)
2. Mileage/transit to a Department of Labor seminar/event (for the purpose of jobseeking)
3. Mileage/transit to an informational interview with an individual in my field (for the purpose of jobseeking)
4. Food/meal costs, if I invite the informational interviewer to lunch?

I'm in NY - but I'm presuming these are federal guidelines .....

Thanks!

Answer
Chris:

Yes you may take one or the other but not both on the same trip.  When using mileage as a deduction you MUST/SHALL keep a yearly log of all your miles driven including the miles that are not a deduction.  The lunch/entertainment expenses only half is allowable.  With that said if you meet the requirement to file the form it is an allowable deduction as long as it is filed correctly on your tax return.  Caution must always be the rule.  If the contact is for information that is not directed towards an actual job then it may not be allowed.  But that is your call to convince an IRS auditor that what you did was NECESSARY.  If the standard falls below NECESSARY then the deduction will fail on its own.

John

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John L. Tidwell

Expertise

Unemployment tax law both state and federal; determination of employer employee relationship; the usual 20 commonlaw factors for making that determination; and what makes me a liable employer.

Experience

Over 20 years of field audit experience with a state agency

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none

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Education/Credentials
Degree in Accounting from Falls Business College

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