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Tax Write-Offs You May Have Overlooked

It’s that time of year when Uncle Sam comes knocking on your door wanting his annual dues. Taxes pave our roads, supply our military, and fund programs like education. That being said, nobody wants to pay more than necessary, so check out the list below to see if any of these tax write-offs might apply to you.

Mortgage interest

If you own a home and you took out a mortgage to pay for it, you can write off the interest you paid on your mortgage for the year. For some, this itemization puts them over the line to exceed the standard deduction.

Education expenses

Tuition and books for college students can be written off. However, even if you’re older and have an undergraduate degree, some of your graduate degree expenses qualify.

Health insurance

If you’re self-employed and pay for your own health insurance, there’s a good chance you can write it off.

Mileage

Keep track of the miles you drive for work and for philanthropic activities like volunteer work. Other travel expenses to look into include baggage fees and airport parking.

Utilities

Telecommuting means you have the opportunity to write off things like Internet fees and electricity. There are specific guidelines, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

Job search expenses

Did you look for a new job last year? Those expenses can be written off. Keep your receipts and you can write off travel expenses, printing costs, and even clothing.

Home improvements

There are still some energy efficient and environmentally friendly home improvements for which you can receive a tax credit. These include geothermal heating and wind turbines. If you’re not sure if your change qualifies, check with your accountant.

Tithes and other charitable contributions

You may know that charitable contributions are tax-deductible, but did you know the offering you give at church is too? Congregational leaders should provide you with an annual report of giving if you contributed online or via check. Those cash tithes don’t qualify because there’s no proof you gave them.

Licenses and training for work

Certain occupations require licensure and continuing education. Both costs are tax-deductible provided you have the receipt and your company didn’t pay for it.

Parking fees

Is your office in a high-rise building that necessitates you parking in the parking garage? Parking fees or permits are potential write-offs. Keep those stubs. Obviously, if your office validates parking, this write-off is null and void.

Sales tax

You can write off either your state income tax or state sales taxes you paid over the course of the year, whichever is greater. If you live in a state like Texas that doesn’t have a state income tax, save those sales receipts because you can write off the sales taxes.

Obviously, this information changes from year to year depending on new tax laws. These tips should not be considered professional tax advice or take the place of a professional tax preparer. They are simply tips to help you keep the right receipts to save you some money.


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