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Using a Pre-Paid Card to Manage Job Search Expenses

In my last post about using pre-paid cards for your career and business, I want to focus specifically on those looking for a new job.  So, you may be asking yourself, what the heck does a pre-paid card have to do with me finding a job in my preferred profession?  Good question!  When I was approached to review the American Express pre-paid card, I initially asked myself the same question.  When I decide to review products on my blog, which is rare, I try to ensure that the product is relevant to my clients and readers. So I was initially unsure of how a pre-paid card would fit into my usual content. But after giving it some thought, it was clear!

Many of you have been laid off or underemployed for some time now due to the state of the economy and have spent countless hours searching for a new position. While there appears to be very little upside to this situation, there is a small amount of consolation – many of those job-search related expenses you are incurring are deductible! Check with the IRS (IRS Publication 529) and your accountant for details.

Here’s where the American Express Pre-Paid card can come into play.  A job seeker can use the pre-paid card to track their job search related expenses and track those expenses online. This will make tax prep much easier.

Some of the expenses that you can deduct include: job counseling/coaching services (services like mine!), resume prep (including resume review/advice), and travel/transportation expenses. There are some limitations, however.  You can not file these expenses as deductions if:

  • You are switching careers (sorry career-shifters)
  • You are looking for your first job
  • You’ve had a substantial break between jobs (i.e. you decided to stay home with the children and 3 years later begin a job search)

The great thing is that if you fit the criteria, you can deduct these expenses even if you do not land a job!


FTC Disclaimer: Funds were provided to load on the American Express Prepaid Card for reviewing purposes.

One Response so far.

  1. Fantastic post. Some great points you highlight in there.

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