Tax season is almost over, and you might be wondering if there’s anything you’re forgetting. Though TurboTax has you covered and asks you simple questions to determine your deductions, it’s good to know some common ones so you’re prepared! So here are five tax deductions to make sure you take advantage of!
Contribute to a Traditional IRA
You have until tax day to open and make a contribution towards a Traditional IRA. Contribution to a Traditional IRA is one of the few things you can do to lower your taxes after the year has ended, so take advantage of it if you haven’t yet done so. When you make the contribution, make sure to indicate that it is for last year or your broker will default to applying it towards this year.
Don’t Forget Those Miscellaneous Expenses!
There are a series of expenses that, on their own, don’t often amount to much. However, if you combine them all and they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), you can deduct them as miscellaneous itemized expenses. There are three types of expenses that fall into this miscellaneous expense category: unreimbursed employee expenses, tax software expenses and “other expenses”: usually investment related expenses.
Uninsured Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Losses
If you suffered any casualty loss as a result of an unusual event like a flood, fire, or some other weather event in 2015, you could deduct the loss. If you suffered a theft of property from your home, you could deduct the fair market value of the items stolen. Keep in mind: when making the claim, you have to deduct any insurance payments you received associated with the loss.
Make Any Bad Investments?
If you have capital losses, where you sold an investment at less than the purchase price, you can deduct up to $3,000 of that loss each year and have it offset your ordinary income. To do this, you have to realize the loss by selling the investment. After you realize the loss, you need to offset it with any previously realized capital gains. If you still have losses, you can deduct them. If you have greater than $3,000 in losses, you claim the $3,000 and the balance is available for use next year.
Charitable Giving Can Give Back
We all know contributions to charitable organizations are tax deductible and our donation of time is not tax deductible, but did you know that if you drove your car for charity you can deduct 14 cents per mile driven? Anything you may have purchased out of your pocket for a charitable organization is also tax deductible. If the organization was having an event and you purchased balloons for them, remember the receipts because you can deduct that purchase as a charitable contribution. If your contributions exceed $250, get the organization to give you a written document acknowledging your contributions.
No fooling, these tax deductions can really boost your tax refund, so don’t forget to claim them if you can!