Unemployment is Taxing Enough, Get Yourself a Tax Deduction

Famed `Tax Lady' Roni Deutch Offers Tips for Nation's Unemployed

February 19, 2009 // Franchising.com // Sacramento, CA – As the nation's unemployment rolls continue to grow, so does the need for job seekers and those collecting unemployment insurance to brush up on their tax laws. Roni Deutch, the Nation's "Tax Lady" and CEO of Roni Deutch Tax Center, wants to make sure those who have fallen victim to the economic downturn don't get hit while they are down just because they didn't know the tax breaks available to them.

Some health insurance costs along with certain job search expenses can qualify you for a tax deduction, but severance packages and unemployment compensation are considered taxable income.

"Out of work American's need to polish up on their resumes and interview skills as well as their tax knowledge," said Ms. Deutch. "When money is tight, every dollar counts so be sure you plan ahead for tax time."

Deutch recommends:

  • If you are looking for a job in the same field, keep track of your expenses. Employment and outplacement agency fees, resume services, print and mail costs, any type of ad you place to find a job, telephone calls, including long distance and any travel expenses - hotels, food, rental cars, plane tickets can all be deducted. The only catch – these expenses must exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income and you must be in the same job category as your previous job. Keep records of these costs and, depending on your income and how much you spend, you may get a break from Uncle Sam.
  • If your out-of-pocket medical expenses exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, qualified health spending above that level is deductible assuming you itemize. That includes the piece of your health insurance premium that you are now paying instead of your employer. But again, be sure to keep proof of these expenses.
  • Your unemployment compensation is taxable income. While some government assistance does not count toward your taxes, your unemployment check does. Plan accordingly.
  • Get a severance package, reimbursed for unused sick or vacation time? That is all taxable, too.

Deutch, who for the past 18 years has built her law practice into the largest tax resolution law firm in the United States, launched her own brand of nation-wide tax preparation franchise centers – Roni Deutch Tax Center – to rival top chains because she saw the need for competent, professional tax return preparation.

About Roni Deutch Tax Center

Roni Deutch has built her reputation as one of the most successful tax lawyers through hard work and dedication to the needs of taxpayers. Her competitive spirit and insatiable work ethic have made her a household name with one out of three American adults knowing the name Roni Deutch. Through her years of practice, she saw that many of her clients' tax problems were caused by sloppy and unprofessional tax return preparation. Ms. Deutch decided it was time to put her experience to work for taxpayers across the country. Roni Deutch Tax Center is now filling the need for competent tax return preparation. In the February 2009 edition of the Entrepreneur Magazine, Roni Deutch Tax Center is in the top 2% of the fastest-growing franchises out of over 3,000 franchise concepts in the country. An affordable franchise opportunity, a Roni Deutch Tax Center franchisee can expect to invest between $26,500 (tax preparation business conversion) and $99,950 to open a tax center with the average investment being about $65,000 for one location.

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