Don’t Miss These Commonly Missed Tax Deductions and Credits

Read the Article

No one likes to feel like they’re missing out. Especially when it comes to opportunities to pay fewer taxes. As this year’s tax deadline approaches, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly missed tax deductions.

Tax deductions like home mortgage interest, taxes (state and property), and charitable donations surely make this list. But that’s likely not what you’re interested in. You want to know about those less-publicized tax deductions that you might be missing.

Above-the-line Deductions That Help You Save:

While every missed tax deduction is potentially a missed opportunity to save on your tax bill, some deductions are also great savings vehicles designed to help you in other ways. I’m talking about the deductions for contributions to a Traditional IRA or Health Savings Accounts.

Some of the other above-the-line tax deductions that you don’t want to miss include:

  • Educator Expenses
  • Student Loan Interest
  • Moving Expenses

Itemized Deductions:

When you file your tax return, you have a choice to use the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. Many people mistakenly take the standard deduction each year when they could be paying fewer taxes by itemizing their deductions. If you’re itemized deductions are more than the standard deduction, then you should itemize. For most people, the 2016 standard deduction is:

  • $6,300 Single or Married filing separately
  • $12,600 Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
  • $9,300 Head of household

If you’re close to being over the standard deduction threshold don’t forget your receipts for :

  • Medical Expenses
  • Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
  • Charitable Donations
  • State Sales Tax

This may help push you over the threshold and maximize your tax refund when you sit down to prepare your taxes.

Don’t worry about figuring out whether or not you’re eligible to take the standard deduction or itemized deductions and forgetting these tax deductions and credits.  TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits that you are eligible for.

15 responses to “Don’t Miss These Commonly Missed Tax Deductions and Credits”

  1. I am retired and for 5 years I have volunteered my time for about 270 hours annually to a local public library where I sit at a desk and provide assistance to patrons with computer questions from how to speed up their computers to computer basics to computer security – assisting patrons from 21 to 70 in age. The library computers are restricted in using some features, so I always use my personal laptop because some features I need to use are restricted on the library computers. In 2014 my laptop died and I purchased a refurb laptop for about $800 to use for this work – this is my laptop not an asset contribution to the library. A library supervisor provided me a letterhead note explaining I am a volunteer using this laptop I bought in September to do this charity work. How do I deduct the cost of this computer that I use for charity work?

  2. I neglected to include the sales tax we paid on a new car in February 2014 — it was about $3,000. We itemized deductions and are receiving a refund of $1320. Will this make much difference in our refund? Should I amend the return?

    • Hi Trish,
      If your state income tax withholding was higher than your state and local sales tax on purchases and you deducted that then it won’t make a difference.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  3. My husband had very serious heart attack and I took care of him for over a month missing work for all that time-can I claim for missed pay?

  4. I gave my granddaughter and grandson total of 16500.oo after thay finished collage to buy them a car to go to work in. Is any that ductable on my taxes

  5. I have a high functioning autistic 24 year old daughter who lives independently in a home she rents. She has 2 children. She is on Medicaid and Disability. That’s her only source of income. I provide funding throughout the year to help her with things like gas, air conditioner, car, clothing, hot water heater, medical needs, groceries etc. Can I deduct any of the support I provide for them?

    • Hi Carol,
      You may be able to if you provide over half of your daughter and her kid’s support and she doesn’t claim them. If she is fully disabled then her taxable income would not be a factor on whether or not you could claim her. TurboTax will help you claim them if you are eligible to claim them.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  6. I am Single filing self employed with 2 children I cleared around $17,500-$18,100 for 2014. What is the best way for me to file Single or Head of Household?I live under my fathers roof but, I may my bills and responsibilities. Should I file an itemized or standard deduction list? Thankyou for any advice…

  7. Can my son claim himself and me claim him also and if he made 8,000 would he get most of federal he paid in back since he’s 17years old? He’s graduated from school and working full time living at home

  8. The comment above indicates we should continue to keep state sales tax receipts. Has the state sales tax credit been reinstated for 2014?

Leave a Reply