Friday, December 9, 2011

IRS Is Getting In The Way

The federal government allows job seekers to deduct from their taxes costs incurred while looking for work, according to a recent press release from the IRS. 

Travel expenses or fees to employment agencies can amount to a significant chunk of cash for the unemployed, particularly at a time when every extra dollar becomes increasingly valuable. Fortunately a tax write-off can lesson the burden of these costs and, for some, keep these job placement avenues available.

But, as always, there’s a catch. You have to be seeking employment in the same field as your previous occupation.

The problem is that in today’s shifting economy many of the more than 13 million unemployed workers come from shrinking sectors where new job openings are often accompanied by crowds of other applicants.  As jobs in manufacturing contract, for example, the best option for those unemployed workers is often to find a new career in a different field.

But by taxing funds used toward finding a job outside of one's established trade, the federal government is, in effect, providing a disincentive for workers to move toward the most dynamic and efficient businesses.

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