5 End of Year Tips to Maximize Your Tax Refund [video]

Tax Deductions and Credits

It’s not too late to make smart end of year tax moves that save you money come tax-time.  Find out a few tricks to maximize your tax refund.

Comments (38) Leave your comment

  1. I had 35,000 damage to my house that were from flood waters in this Tax year. This damage was not covered by my homeowners Insurance. Is this tax deductible and were will this question come up while I am doing Turbo Tax?

  2. Hi Linda,
    There are circumstances where you can withdraw from your 401K before reaching the age of 59-1/2 and waive the early withdrawl penalty as follows:

    – Distributions made because you are totally and permanently disabled.
    – Distributions made as part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments over your life expectancy or the life expectancies of you and your designated beneficiary. If these distributions are from a qualified plan other than an IRA, you must separate from service with this employer before the payments begin for this exception to apply.
    – Distributions to the extent you have deductible medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or over) whether or not you itemize your deductions for the year.
    – Distributions made due to an IRS levy of the plan under section 6331.
    – Distributions that are qualified reservist distributions. Generally, these are distributions made to individuals that are called to active duty for at least 180 days after September 11, 2001.

    If any of these apply to you, TurboTax asks if you experienced any of these exceptions and will not calculate the penalty on your taxes.
    Thank you,
    Lisa Greene-Lewis

  3. emptied 401k, hardship, lost job, been unemployed for 3 months+ used to keep my part of household expenses paid…Any tax suggestions or exemptions I have no income coming in.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      You may be eligible to waive the tax penalty for early withdrawl of your 401K if your medical expenses exceeded 10% of your adjusted gross income (7.5% if you are 65 and over), if you had an IRS levy, or if your are permanently disabled. You may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit as long as you earned some income from working during the year. Also, if you don’t have health insurance you may be exempt from the requirement to purchase health insurance if you experienced hardship. TurboTax will walk you through tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your situation.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  4. My adult son has ALS disease. i have been paying for some of his medicines and parking for doctors visits. i had to purchase items for him like clothing food etc. can i claim him? he is 27yrs old says:

    I have a question about claiming my adult child due to him have ALS disease

    1. Hi,
      Yes, you can claim your son if you provide over half of his support. You can also deduct medical expenses you paid for him. TurboTax will walk you through all of these tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    1. Hi Johanna,
      Congratulations! Yes, the amount of mortgage interest you paid on your home loan, property taxes, and any points/loan origination fees you paid will be tax deductible. TurboTax will help you claim these tax deductions.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  5. Lisa
    Is it ok to claim property taxes paid for two different years but actually paid in the same year to reduce income? for instance I paid my property taxes for 2013 on Jan 5 2014. I now want to pay my property taxes for 2014 in 2014. Can I add them together and deduct? I am no longer able to itemize and think that this will allow me to do so this year, thoughts?

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Yes, you can claim the property taxes paid for two different years actually paid in one year on your taxes. Your deduction would go by when it was actually paid.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    1. Jimmy,
      If you have business income, the Section 179 expense may be a great way to decrease that income for the year.
      Mary Ellen

    1. Hi Roy,
      You can deduct your travel expenses directly related to traveling for medical reasons. You can deduct milaege, air travel, and even up to $50 per night for hotel stays related to travel to get medical care and up to $50 for one person traveling with you. Your medical expenses have to be more than 10% of your adjusted gross income(7.5% if you are 65 or older) and you have to have enough deductions to itemize. TurboTax will guide you through all of this.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  6. I received a letter from the IRS stating that I needed to amend my tax’s for 2013. The persons I have for dependents were myself, spouse and one child in college that graduated in May. The IRS records show that two tax fillings were done on my sons SS#. I filled claiming him and he apparently also filled. Was I still able to claim him as a dependent or not.

    1. Hi Robert,
      Only one of you can claim the exemption. If you want to deduct what was paid for college you would have to claim him. He could not take the exemption.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  7. I have a question about airfare and rental car costs to travel to another state for surgery to be performed by our regular specialist.

    1. Hi Mike,
      Yes, you can deduct your air travel and rental care cost to travel for surgery. You can also deduct up to $50 for lodging for you and one person traveling with you.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  8. Lisa, I would appreciate some info on deductible gifting to individuals. I am in a position to do a bit of that to my children. I am 83 nears old so it would be an advance on their inheritance.

    Jack(John)

    1. Hi John,
      You can give up to $14,000 to each child for 2014 without paying taxes on the gift.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    1. Jimmy,
      Donating directly from your IRA to a charity will prevent that income from being reported on your tax return, and may lower your taxable Social Security, and increase your medical and miscellaneous itemized deductions. It may also lower the amount on Investment Income Tax you have to pay.
      Mary Ellen

  9. My husbands business did well this year, but we don’t want to have to pay in too much on taxes…should we purchase a new vehicle that can be useful toward the business and help reduce taxes?

    1. Janice,
      if you are in a business, and use the truck for business, you can depreciate the truck, and claim gas, insurance, taxes, interest, and repairs as deductions, or use the standard mileage rate for the miles used for business. You must have a mileage log showing business miles vs. personal miles. TurboTax will help you with the deductions.
      Mary Ellen

  10. HELLO LISA, I AM RETIRED AND CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO MY I. R. A. WHICH I WILL DO UNTIL I AM 70 1/2 YRS. OLD. BEFORE I BEGIN THE MANDETORY DISTRIBUTION. MY QUESTION IS THIS: IN THE PAST YEARS I HAVE TRIED TO IMPLEMENT MY TAX REDUCTION BY TRYING TO HAVE TURBO TAX RECOGNIZE MY YEARLY CONTRIBUTION TO NO AVAIL. I DO DRAW A PENSION FROM MY STATE OF TEXAS SO COULD THIS BE THE REASON WHY? IF NOT WHAT IS GOING ON? JACK

    1. Hi Jack,
      You can only deduct contributions to a retirement fund if you have earned income like wage or business income. If you are retired and no longer receiving a W-2, you are not eligible to contribute to an IRA. Your pension income does not qualify as earned income.

      Mary Ellen

  11. Just got mail from IRS stating, that I had not filed taxe for 2013?? I have ignored it. Ihad confirmation from turbo tax that my had been accepted. frances adams

    1. Frances,
      Did you check back into TurboTax to confirm your filing? You should have received three email, one that the transmission was accepted by Intuit, then another one stating that the IRS has accepted your return, and one stating that your state has accepted your return.

      You should never ignore correspondence from the IRS. You may need to print out a copy of the return and mail it in even if your return was filed previously.
      Mary Ellen

  12. i want to draw some emergency cash from my 401k. my birrthday is 01/26/1956. i was told i may be able to waive the early withdrawal penalty. how is this done?. thanks my name is Linda Fisher

    1. Linda,
      When you prepare your tax return, you will include the income from the distribution that is reported to you on form 1099-R. TurboTax will ask if you qualify for an exception to the penalty. If you were 59 1/2 at the time of the withdrawal, you will qualify for an exception. There are other exceptions. You can learn more here – http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc558.html

      Mary Ellen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s