Tax season is here…actually it’s been here for the last couple of months. If you still haven’t filed, there is plenty of good news yet! Regardless of whether you expect to owe money or get a return, there are many different items that you can write-off for tax deductions. Some items you already know about, but there are others that are relevant to almost everyone, yet somehow lost in the cracks.
Between now and April 15th, dig up all of your expenses and prepare to write-off these 10 potential items:
1. Energy Efficient Home Upgrades
If you are a homeowner and have added energy-efficient upgrades, these items can be written off:
- Exterior windows & doors
- Heating & air conditioning systems
- Hot water heaters
- Alternative energy
2. Mortgage Interest
Homeowners can potentially write-off interest paid on the following mortgage-related items:
- Mortgage Interest
- Home Equity Loan Interest
- Mortgage Insurance Premiums (applicable to privately held policies)
Refer to the IRS Interest Item deduction page for more information.
3. Business Use of Your Home
These days, many people work remotely. If you are a remote worker who uses your home for business use, these may be of substantial benefit to you:
- Business Use of Your Home. Examples of this would be the business part of your home interest, portion comprised on bills (e.g.: Internet and energy), furniture used for business (desk, desk chair, file cabinets, etc.) and more. Refer to this page for more information.
- Business-Use Depreciation. An example of this could be a personal computer that is used for business purposes. (Refer to this page for specifics.)
4. Home Office Supplies
Any time you paid for home office items (such as pens, notepads, paper clips, etc.) you can write these items off— if you’ve saved the receipt.
5. Continuous Education
The government encourages people to pursue additional education—and it doesn’t have to be for college classes. The Lifetime Learning credit provides deductions on career-based educational pursuits that will improve your job skills. This includes online classes (ever signed up for a Groupon class? Something of that nature fits this category perfectly). IRS Pub 970 covers all the details.
6. Gas Mileage & Car Maintenance
If you use your personal vehicle for work-related purposes and don’t get compensated for these expenses– you can write these off if they comply with the IRS’s Publication 463 on Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.
7. Additional Health Care Costs
Healthcare is expensive. Fortunately, you can potentially write off these items:
- Preventative care expenses
- Dental care
- Fertility treatments & pregnancy tests
- Prescription drugs
- Glasses, contacts and contact lens solutions
- Out of pocket doctor bills
- Psychologist & psychiatrist visits
- Medical care home improvements
Review the IRS’s Topic 502 on Medical and Dental Expenses.
8. Car Loan Interest
This falls under the personal interest section and only applies if you use your vehicle for business.
9. Moving for Your Job
If you relocated for your job and moved at least 50 miles away, you could write off your moving expenses. IRS Pub 521 has all of the qualification details.
10. Looking for Employment
It’s expensive to be unemployed while looking for employment opportunities. If you’ve spent over 2% of your gross income looking for employment, you could potentially write this off as a miscellaneous deduction. You must be looking for a position within your same field and it cannot be your first job. View all specifics under this category under the IRS Pub 529.
Know what type of deductions you could potentially write off may save you hundreds of dollars this year on your taxes. At any rate, it’s better than just crossing your fingers! Who knows, maybe you can upgrade to the ADT Pulse Package with your return check!