In trying to find a job that is similar if not identical to your last one, at the same level of responsibility and similar duties, your expenses may be tax deductible. Even if your job was an internship while in college or you worked while a college student and searched for a similar job, you can claim the deductions.
But if you had no job for sometime, or just out of college but didn’t work while studying, your search will be considered for a new trade or business and you cannot claim the deductions.
Eligible deductions are:
The deductions can be claimed only if the total expenses exceed 2% of the adjusted gross income, but subject to the deduction limits in income thresholds.
While in the job, you can claim deductions for expenses that are necessary and ordinary and not reimbursed by your employer. Necessary means it helps the business and is appropriate. Ordinary expenses are those accepted and common in the business.
The expenses may be for physical examination, office supplies not provided by the employer, profession, union or trade dues, research or lecture expenses, safety clothes and gear, personal tools or equipment, mobile phones and computers.
The expense of commuting to work is not deductible, but travels to other locations —in-city or outside– as part of the job, if not reimbursed by the office, are deductible. Also for traveling to and from a second job.