Taxpayers may be missing out on deductions, which significantly reduce their tax bills or even earn them money if they don’t know about these ten deductions.
- Self-Employment Social Security– If you’re self-employed, you can deduct half of the 15.3% of social security taxes, which accounts for the employer portion, from your taxes.
- Babysitting – Parents who hire someone to watch the little ones while volunteering for specific recognized charities can write off the payment as an additional charitable contribution.
- Sales Tax – States without income taxes allow filers to deduct sales tax instead. This can mean a much lower tax bill if you make a big purchase, such as a car or engagement ring. Just remember to itemize.
- Reinvested Dividends – When dividends turn into additional shares, an investor’s “tax basis” changes. This means that there is a lower amount of taxable gain. If you don’t report this, you wind up overpaying.
- Student Loan Interest – Students can qualify for deductions for interest paid on their loans, even if that interest was paid by someone else, as long as they are not someone else’s dependent. This is a change from previous years when no one qualified for a tax break when paying interest in student loans if someone else paid them back.
- Moving Expenses for Military Personnel – To qualify for moving expenses, you must move more than 50 miles for that job using your personal vehicle, which will enable you to write off 23 cents per mile in addition to parking fees and tolls. Service members qualify if there were not reimbursed for their move.
- Job Hunting Fees – Residents of states such as California may qualify for deductions based on the costs of looking for a new job, including milage and office supplies.
- Child or Dependent Care – A dollar-for-dollar credit exists for up to $6,000 of care expenses. This can significantly reduce your tax bill.
- State Taxes – Don’t forget to include any state taxes you paid last year when itemizing your deductions.
- Jury Pay – If you are responsible for giving your employer pays any salary earned while on jury duty, you should report it to avoid paying taxes on that money.
Remember that taxes must be itemized to qualify for many of these credits.