When it comes to taxes, there are some things everyone knows they can write off in order to get more money back, like exemptions for kids, mortgage interest and business expenses for example. However, there are a great deal of other expenses that can be written off to lower your tax liability too. While most have some rules involved, the majority of write-offs are pretty easy to remember and take advantage of.
Here are 7 not-so-well-known tax deductions.
If you move a very large distance and can show that the move was for work, you can write off any moving expenses you acquire along the way. This includes moving vans, shipping boxes, movers and any travel-related expenses too. For those of you who have made big moves, you know how helpful this can be, especially if the move was unexpected or inconvenient.
There’s a lot of rules for this one though, so to be sure to do your research so you’re sure where the lines are drawn between what is and isn’t a deductible expense.
Student Loan Interest
While any payments you make on your loans won’t help you out any when it comes to getting back more during tax season, you can include any interest accrued on your loans in your taxes.
Loan companies will usually give you a printout of your loan interest at the end of the year so you can include the printout on your taxes, but if they don’t it’s very simple to ask for one.
If you’re a generous person and donate money to charities then you already know that these donations can come off on your taxes. These usually work when they’re a certain percentage of your income. This is common knowledge. What a lot of people don’t know though, is that donating just about anything can be counted, not just cash.
For example, if you donate a great deal of used furniture, a used vehicle or clothing, then you’re entitled to claiming this on your taxes. Companies that take donations will provide you with the paperwork you can use to count these things towards your taxes during the coming season.
In my area there are charities which come by every few weeks in trucks to pick up donations you leave at your front doorstep. I’ve donated everything from old televisions to dishware to shoes. They leave a note where you can itemize the things you donated along with their estimated value. This document serves as your proof, in case of an audit, of what was donated.
If you work from home or are self-employed, then you can write off things you need in order to complete your work. There’s a lot of different rules that come attached to this write-off, so be careful and really take into account what qualifies and what doesn’t.
You don’t need to have an official company that’s registered and have employees working for you in order to claim a deduction for business expenses. You just include a Schedule
C form, list yourself as a sole proprietor and list any expenses you had throughout the year. This could be anything from a new computer, advertising fees or anything else that you purchased for your work at home business.
When your job requires you to travel far distances, you can include these expenses on your taxes. This doesn’t count the commuting it takes to get to work, but instead any extra commuting you do during the day or for meetings and conferences.
For example, if you’re a field tech and you spend all day on the road going from site to site, the gas you spend and the maintenance on your car can be included. However, if your job offers you reimbursement for what you spend on commuting, you can’t claim anything. No double dipping allowed.
If 10% of your income goes to health related expenses, then that money you spend on your health can be collected and added together during tax season. It’s important to keep clear records of all your expenses, since this can get really confusing.
Some health related items, such as acupuncture, meditation courses, yoga and a gym membership don’t always count. But any money you spend on medication, vitamin supplements, medical procedures and doctor office visits definitely count. This usually only benefits those who spend a great deal of money on medical stuff, but it doesn’t hurt to keep track, just in case.
Research For Work
When you’re doing things that count towards research for work, you can write those expenses off because they’re no longer considered leisure. This ranges from dinner you buy to research for a book or textbooks you buy to learn more about a topic you’re working on.
On top of items you buy, conferences, meetings and other outside-of-work professional development count too. Make sure, though, that you’re honest with your claims and you save your receipts because if you get carried away it can increase your risk of an audit.
In order to maximize your tax return it’s important to go to a qualified tax preparer. They will ask all the right questions to help you lower your tax liability and ensure you get all of the tax deductions you rightfully deserve.