As the tax deadline looms, we should all be thinking about things like returns, expenses, and deductions. As you rifle through receipts and check on your W-2’s and 1099’s, you should also be documenting all your possible deductions. While most people know they can deduct things like a home office or travel expenses, here are five tax deductions you probably didn’t know about.
Now, don’t go and tally up everything you bought in the past year and add up the sales tax—this deduction is better served for bigger purchases. Did you propose to the love of your life this year and buy a nice ring? Or purchase a new home or car? The sales tax on these can offer a significant deduction on your tax return.
If you hire a babysitter so you and your spouse can have a date night, this doesn’t apply to you, unfortunately. But, if you have to pay a babysitter to watch your kids while you are volunteering for a recognized charity, you can list the cost as a charitable contribution.
This doesn’t just refer to college students. In fact, if you are what they call a “lifetime learner” and continue to take classes to further your education, you can qualify for the Lifetime Learning credit. This credit offers up to $2,000 per year, or 20% of the first $10,000 you spend for education, and can be offered to anyone of any age, but does end once you reach a certain income level.
If you lose your job and are looking for a job in the same field, you can deduct expenses like the mileage you travel when going to interviews. But, you must itemize all your deductions and they must all add up to exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. If they don’t meet that amount, you unfortunately can’t deduct anything.
If you subscribe to magazines that relate to your profession, you can actually deduct those expenses on your tax return. For example, if you are a business professional, you can deduct the cost of subscribing to Forbes or similar magazines. You can also deduct subscriptions to hobby magazines if you make money with that hobby. For example, if you made money playing poker, you can deduct the cost of a poker publication to the extent of your income. Subscription deductions are subject to the 2 percent floor and you must be able to prove that the publication relates to your job.
If you need help with your taxes, contact a tax professional like Levy Tax & Associates. Contact us at 1-800-TAX-LEVY or visit their website to learn more.