Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stuff You Can Claim on Your Income Taxes

Every year, we find ourselves pulling together this fiscal summary of our past 12 months.  It seems like Uncle Sam is always finding new ways to get his hands in there.  It's important to make sure we're taking advantage of every possible deduction.  Below is a list of possible deductions.  Obviously, you should talk to your CPA about your specific ituation.

1) If you bought a boat or vehicle or airplane, you get to add the sales tax you paid to the amount shown in the IRS table for your state.  The same goes for home building materials.

2) Out of pocket charitable donations.  Things like canned goods for the food pantry, ingredients for cookies that you bake for nonprofit organizations, etc.  Keep your receipts.  If your donation exceeds $250, you need a letter from the charity.

3) Airline Baggage Fees

4) Jury Duty Pay - in the situation where your employer pays your full salary while you're on duty, and then requires you to turn over your jury pay.  Since the IRS requires you to report these as taxable income, you are able to deduct the amount that you turn over to your employer.

5) Points on Refinancing With interest rates remaining so low over the past few years, lots of homes have been refinanced, sometimes more than once. Any points you pay to refinance your home can be deducted on a monthly basis over the life of the new loan.

6) Any health insurance premiums you pay, including some long-term-care premiums based on your age and Medicare premiums you pay, are potentially deductible. But you have to add these to your medical expense pot. Medical expenses have to exceed 7.5%  (as of 2011) of your adjusted gross income before they give you any tax benefit.

7) If you're a teacher and each year you're buying kleenex and crayons and computer equipment with your own money, you can deduct up to $250 per year as of 2011.

8) Business related parking and tolls, and business related mileage ($0.51 per mile as of 2011).  You can't double dip if your employer is reimbursing your mileage though.

9) License Plate Tabs

10) Zoo Membership


The Frugal Maestro

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