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Unemployed taxpayers allowed to deduct job-seeking expenses

THE BALTIMORE SUN

About 8.9 million Americans are looking for work, says the Labor Department.

If you were among them last year, you may be able to deduct some of the job-hunting expenses from your 1991 income tax.

The expenses must be included under the "miscellaneous" category on your tax return. If miscellaneous expenses total more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, you may deduct the amount that exceeds the 2 percent level.

Here are some of the job-hunting expenses that are deductible. But to claim the expenses, you need to have been looking for a new job in your current occupation:

* Employment-agency fees. If you use an employment agency or a career consultant, the fees can be deducted.

* Resume. You can deduct the amounts you spend for typing, printing and mailing copies of a resume to would-be employers.

* Travel expenses. If you traveled out of town looking for work, you can deduct travel expenses. The amount of time you spent job-hunting is crucial when trying to decide if the trip can be written off. Even if the travel was primarily for fun, you still may deduct the part related to your job search.

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