Why Aren’t You Claiming These Tax Deductions?
There are a ton of incredibly common tax deductions everyone claims every year. From kids to house payments, we usually think we have a pretty good idea of just exactly we should be deducting. But the truth is that there are tons of overlooked tax deductions each year – some $5 million worth – that could help you right now with your taxes and bring more money to your plate. Some of them are pretty obvious, but still incredibly uncommon, and some are much more weird and interesting.
Remember, if you’re doing your taxes, many times you’re shortchanging yourself when you don’t itemize and go over every single thing you spend that year – that’s where the big savings are, and where most people fail to get the full return they could when they take the easy way out.
People overlook charitable contributions all of the time simply because
they don’t think of some things as charitable, or worse, they don’t keep
track. If you pay tithing to your church, this is indeed a charitable
contribution, and gets removed dollar for dollar from your taxes. There are
also a lot of cases where money is given to an organization that you may
not consider charitable and, in fact, is. A great example is any animal
organization – wildlife or domestic – because most of them survive on
charitable donations to keep their doors open. Every single one of those
contributions is deductible.
*Job Hunting Related Expenses*
So you think you’re all on your own when it comes to gas and car expenses
when you’re looking for a job? You most certainly aren’t. As long as job
hunting expenses exceed 2% of your income each year, you can itemize your
taxes and take every single penny off of them. Job hunting expenses can be
things like Internet for searching or car maintenance because you drove all
over the place looking for a job to things like lodging and food when
you’re travelling and looking for a job. Be careful, however – keep the
receipts for all of these purchases in case you get audited.
Did you pick up a new hobby last year and make a few bucks off of it? Good
for you – because you can deduct the money you made off of your hobby from
your taxes. So if you spent $300 making model airplanes and made $500
selling them to your friends and family, every penny you spent is now tax
deductible when you itemize your return.
*Other Little Savers
*Do you have a service animal, such as a dog, that helps you see or pick up
things? Its food, no matter what the cost, is completely tax deductible. So
are travel expenses if you’re a military reserve member (when you drive
more than 100 miles from your house), and if you move jobs from one state
to another, you can even deduct the costs for that, too.
In the end, you can almost deduct anything from your taxes for the right
purposes and if you can justify it to the IRS. Sometimes, they’ll say no –
but sometimes, they’ll say yes. There have been cases such as pools that
have been approved by the IRS (it was only built for medical purposes at a
personal home – it even had a heater) all the way to cat food claimed as a
business expense since the cat took care of the vermin in the basement. If
those cases can clear, sometimes if you just check with the IRS over your
expense, it can, too. The worst they can say is no, and if the IRS does
says yes, you’re setting yourself up for a much better tax year.
*Author Bio:** Elizabeth Roque is an in-house writer for Franklin Debt Relief.
She presents information about debt relief programs,
credit card debt reduction and getting out of debt on a variety of
financial sites online.