Each tax year, many Americans end up paying more than they have to in taxes just because they don’t claim all the deductions they qualify for. No one wants to pay more than is necessary, so before you file your taxes make sure you have taken all the deductions you can. You may be able to lower your tax bill farther than you ever have, and end up with a larger refund than you expected! These seven deductions are often overlooked so be sure to see if you qualify:
- Travel Expenses: Many people know that you can use the standard mileage deduction if you use your personal car for work. However, if you drive for medical reasons or charitable work, you are also able to deduct your expenses. This tax year the standard deduction rate per mile is $.575 for work, $.23 for medical (to a doctor’s appointment) and $.14 for charitable travel (volunteer work)
- Charitable Contributions: If you donate items other than cash to religious groups or non-profits, you are able to deduct the value of the gift. You’ll want to have receipt to back up your donation, but every little amount can help shave money off your tax bill.
- Relocation Expenses: Did you move in order to work at a new job that is over 50 miles from your previous address? If so, your moving expenses, such as mileage and driving costs, as well as lodging, may be tax deductible.
- Student Loan Interest: Interest amounts you paid on qualifying student loans can be tax deductible if your income is less than $80,000 for single filers, or double that for joint filers. Regardless of who actually paid the interest, you are eligible to deduct the interest as long as it is your loan and you are not a dependent of anyone else.
- Sales Tax: There are nine states in the US that don’t charge income tax. In these states, (Florida, Texas, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Wyoming, South Dakota, or Alaska) you are able to deduct sales tax. There is a standard sales tax deduction regardless of which state you live in, but you can only deduct either income tax or sales tax. So in any other state you’ll likely make out better by deducting the income tax.
- Child Care: The IRS has an actual tax credit to help you pay for the care of your child while you work. You are able to claim up to $3,000 in qualifying expenses for one child, or $6,000 for two or more. These expenses can’t be reimbursed by your employer, however you can claim any part of the expense that isn’t covered by your employer benefits.
- Tax Preparation: Yes you can actually deduct the cost of preparing your tax return! You can deduct any software you purchased, as well as tax books and preparation fees. You can even write off charges associated with filing and paying online, such as convenience charges for credit cards.