It’s Tax Time! Here Are 9 Tax Deductions to Consider
This time of year I usually have a nagging little voice in my ear: tax time, get your taxes done. And I know I’m not alone.
What about this task makes people procrastinate? It’s not just the job of filling out the return, or even tracking down those errant wisps of paper, but also that awful idea that you might miss something. Maybe there’s some deduction out there that you don’t even know about and you could accidentally leave some money on the table. And that’s enough to cause a person to shudder and tell that nagging voice to zip it.
But April 15 is almost here, so now even the procrastinators need to get down to business.
With that in mind, I decided to research and compile a list of some less-common deductions, according to several reputable sources. Think you might be eligible? Ask your tax person to verify or call the IRS for free answers.
Here are 9 less common tax deductions to consider:
Weight-loss programs. If your doctor prescribed one, you can add the program cost to your list of deductions.
Energy-saving home improvements. U.S. News reported that homeowners are entitled to a tax credit of up to $500 for making home improvements that save energy to their primary residences.
Teaching supplies. Teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms may claim up to $250 without itemizing.
Tuition. Tax-paying students may be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which also covers the cost of books and supplies.
Gambling losses. If your losses did not exceed your winnings, you can write them off on your taxes.
Volunteer mileage. You’re not allowed to deduct charity work but you can deduct the cost of getting to the volunteer site and back, including parking and tolls.
Home office. If you don’t have a fixed office space for your business, you can claim a deduction for your home office so long as you’re using it for administrative or managerial activities.
Household donations. Here’s a win-win: Take an afternoon to spring clean and clear your house of clutter. Then, bring any unwanted items to Goodwill, and you can write off their fair-market value.
Retirement accounts. Another more obvious way to lower your tax bill: Plug money into your retirement accounts. If you contribute $5,500 to your IRA (the max allowable for those age 50 and younger) and you’re in the 25-percent tax bracket, you can save $1,375 on your tax bill. That’s a hefty sum! Of course, check with a certified accountant to verify your eligibility.
Like most big chores, when I finally take the time to focus and get my taxes done, I’m usually wondering … Why didn’t I do that earlier? Now I can turn my attention to more important things. Like sitting back in my shorts and flip-flops in Mesa, Arizona, and watching Spring Training. Go Cubbies!
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”
– Mark Twain
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/ stuart miles