Tax Deductions That Most People Miss

Alright, so you’ve been convinced. You need to start claiming some deductions on your taxes. There are some that make sense: Children, student loans, owning a home. But, there are others that get overlooked on a regular basis. We’re going to look at some of those today.

–    Job supplies. If you are required to buy things for your job (i.e. a computer), you may be able to deduct part of it on your taxes. This includes all sorts of office supplies as well. So, keep track of the office supplies that you buy and they could be a deduction for you later on! Also, if you use old books from college as part of your job, you can claim a “professional library” and deduct some of this as well.

–    Charitable Gifts.  A lot of people forget to claim this if it wasn’t a monetary donation.

–    Health Care Premiums. If your premiums exceed 7.5% of your income, you may be able to claim them as a deduction.

–    “Acts of God” When the President declares an area to be a disaster area; there are usually tax deductions for people living in that area that year. Double check with your local and state governments to see if these are available if your hometown experienced floods, hurricanes, tornados, or other severe weather issues.

–    Retirement. Several years ago, the government wanted to encourage people with low incomes to save toward retirement, and included a deduction for people who contributed into a retirement fund, sometimes up to 50% of what they put in.

–    School Supplies. But only if you’re a teacher. You can claim up to $250 of classroom supplies as a tax deduction.

–    Cell phone? Yes. If you use your cell phone for work, it may be eligible.

–    Student education. Interest payments, money you paid out of pocket for your education and a bunch of other things related to higher education are eligible for deductions.

–    Job hunting expenses. If you have to move to take a job, you may be eligible for a deduction based on the moving expenses.

–    Volunteering expenses. If you drive to and from places to volunteer, you may be able to itemize your gas and car payments. You can also claim office supplies that you may be using for the volunteer work as well.

–    Child Care Credit. If you pay for child care because of working, you may be eligible for this (up to $6k)

office supplies

–    Jury money paid to your employer. Since some employers pay your salary even if you get called for jury duty, they may require you pay them your jury money. You can deduct it if this is the case, considering you’d have to pay taxes on it if you kept it.

As always, do your research if you fit any of these criteria. Your tax preparer can definitely give you some assistance, as can the IRS website and other government agencies. Do your research, and your tax deductions may be more than you ever thought before!