January 24, 2018
Six unexpected ways to save on taxes this season.
If you’re self-employed, you may be able to deduct health insurance premiums you pay for yourself and your family. Otherwise, premiums and other medical expenses may be tax deductible if they exceed 10% of your income and you itemize deductions. Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions, certain out-of-pocket medical expenses, and even mileage to and from doctor visits may also qualify.
You may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses related to your job, such as uniforms, union dues or transportation costs (other than going to and from work). Using part of your home as your primary business office may also be deductible. If you looked for a new job in your same career field last year, you may be able to deduct certain job-hunting expenses like transportation, printing costs and employment agency fees. Expenses related to moving for a new job at least 50 miles away may also qualify.
Home ownership has many tax-saving perks. If you bought or refinanced a home last year, you may be able to deduct the points you paid at closing. Most taxpayers who itemize are able to deduct the interest paid on their mortgage, as well as certain energy-saving home improvements, like solar panels. If you experienced a home-related loss due to a natural disaster or theft, you may be able to deduct the value of items that insurance didn’t cover.
Cash and non-cash donations — like clothing, household goods or cars — are usually deductible when they’re made to qualified non-profit organizations. See the IRS’s list of qualified organizations here. If you incur out-of-pocket costs while volunteering, such as paying for postage or printing, or even mileage or parking costs from driving to and from the charity, those may be eligible deductions, too. Just be sure to save your receipts.
Are you paying student loans, helping finance your child’s college education or continuing your own education? Certain tax breaks are available to higher education learners (and to those paying the bills). These include tax credits like the Hope Credit, American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit — and even 529 college savings plan distributions. A portion of student loan interest you paid may be deductible as well.
If you paid tax preparation fees, legal fees or car registration fees last year, they may be deductible. Other qualifying expenses may include a clean fuel credit if you purchased a hybrid car, child and dependent care credits, and even state income taxes paid the previous year.
By planning ahead for tax season, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of all the savings you qualify for. Designating a folder or digital file can help you organize and store all the receipts, statements and tax forms you’ll need to complete your return. Please note: the information in this article applies to 2017 filings. Be sure to visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for more information on eligible tax credits and deductions and consult with a financial advisor or tax professional for the most current rules and guidelines.
Consult a tax professional for advice. As required by the U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are hereby advised that any written tax advice contained in this email or on this website was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.