Tax Breaks Help Unemployed Chicago Workers Pay for Job Search

When you're out of work and without a paycheck, finding a new job can feel like it's taking forever - especially when you're also struggling to pay your credit card bills and the mortgage. But all that legwork can pay off in more ways than one.

Of course, the best case scenario is that you find a well-paying job quickly. But even if you don't, you can get a financial break in the meantime by deducting money you spent on your job search, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Despite the debate over if or when the economy will recover, millions of Americans remain jobless. Those who have been out of work for six months or more were recently cut off from jobless benefits for seven weeks during a congressional standoff that ended last week. But what didn't get cut off is a series of tax deductions for job searches.

That's right, you can lower your tax bill in exchange for simply proving that you're consistently looking for work. It might not be a steady paycheck, but any little bit helps. There are some stipulations, however. You must have been previously employed - for instance, recent graduates looking for their first job don't qualify - and you must be applying for jobs in the same line of work that you did previously. You must also keep up a consistent job search during your unemployment. For example, you can't wait three months to start looking, or give up looking after a month.

That's the bad news. The good news? If you meet those guidelines, you should be able to deduct costs for job-related travel, making and sending out resumes and portfolios, dealing with employment agencies and job counselors, and more. Ultimately, whether or not you qualify for each deduction will depend on your individual situation.

It might not feel like it sometimes, but the more effort you put into your job search, the sooner you'll find work - it's simply a matter of probability. In the meantime, if a lack of a paycheck is making it impossible for you to deal with overwhelming debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be able to help. Chapter 7 can sometimes discharge unsecured debts - like credit card debt - for folks who earn little to no income. If you're unemployed, now is not the time to be shelling out thousands of dollars to creditors. Find out if bankruptcy can relieve the financial pressure of your debts when you try a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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