Remember this past April, when the flowers were just about to bloom and the weather was warming up? If you filed a tax extension in April, that was probably the last time you thought about your taxes.
Now that October 15 is coming closer, it’s time to get back into that mode because your taxes will be due soon. Very soon.
As you get ready to sit down to file your taxes, don’t forget to have your receipts ready so you can include some of the expenses you might have forgotten, especially now that you’re about six more months removed from the end of the tax deadline.
While you can’t claim expenses incurred after April 15th for your 2013 taxes, it’s important that you look back through your records and find your expenses for 2013.
Here are some of the common expenses that people often forget:
- Unreimbursed employment expenses: Did you pay for something job-related without getting reimbursed by your employer? If so, it might be tax-deductible. If you were required to pay for a certain cell phone, or if you spent some of your own money to go on a business trip, you might be able to deduct that. Unreimbursed employment expenses can have a funny way of piling up, especially since the expenses tend to be lower. Few companies will require you to pay airfare for a business trip but might not think twice about having you buy your own lunch.
- Medical expenses: If your medical expenses paid out of pocket are above a certain amount, which is calculated against your adjusted gross income, you may receive a tax deduction. Add up what you spent out of pocket and if it’s above 10% of your adjusted gross income, or 7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older you may be entitled to a tax deduction.
- Job hunting expenses: Were you searching for a job? Did you spend money flying out to interviews, getting interview coaching, or having someone review your resume? If you were looking for work last year, and you meet certain qualifications, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for those expenses.
- Casualty loss: If you weren’t reimbursed for a loss of property (perhaps through a natural disaster), you can claim that on your taxes in some cases. Pay attention to what you’ve lost, and then include that on your tax return. The key here is that you must not have been reimbursed, such as by your insurance company. If you were, you, understandably, can’t claim the loss.
- Investment losses: When you sell investments at a loss, it is possible to use it to offset some of your other gains from the sale of an investment.
- Charitable contributions: Don’t forget about the contributions you make to charity! Whether it’s a cash contribution or some other property, you may be able to claim it as a tax deduction against your income and reduce your tax burden.
These items are among those that are often overlooked. You should also make sure that you claim the credits you are entitled to.
Many people forget about the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which can be used to offset the cost of care for children. There are also still energy tax credits that you might have been eligible for last year.
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, don’t worry about forgetting these tax deductions and credits. TurboTax will find every tax deduction and credit you are eligible for, so file your tax return by the extension deadline, which is October 15th.