Most people only think of taxes once a year, when it comes time to file and often overlook many money saving deductions and credits they may be eligible for. With a little thought and planning some of these tips may save you hard earned money or may help put a little back in your pocket this year.
Gambling losses, have a bingo,prize or lottery winning that you have to claim? You are allowed to take a loss up to the extent of your winnings. Make sure to keep track of those nonwinning lottery tickets and bingo tallys. Most casinos will also issue you a statement of loss when asked for one.
Dependents, Did you have a child, adopt a child or take care of a ailing relative? All of these things can come into play at tax time. Even if you are paying expenses for a loved one who is not in your home you may still be eligible to claim them as a dependent. Make sure to ask your tax preparer for more details.
Charitable Contributions, Keep track of all the times you make donations, whether it be cash,clothing,furniture or the tithes you pay to your church or synagoge. Also keep in mind when you buy girl scout cookies or boyscout popcorn you can deduct the fair market value of them. If you are making large donations to the salvation army or good will ask for a receipt. The IRS allows you to claim up to 250.00 with out a receipt for cash and clothing, but you want to make sure you have your bases covered and a paper trail in the event of an audit.
Unreimbursed business expenses, are you using your vehicle for work, using your personal cell phone, buying tools or uniforms for work? These are things to keep track of and also keep track of any you may not be remibursed for. Also if you are a telecommuter you may be entittled for a home office deduction. Also remember any union dues is deductible as well as professional licenses.
Medical expenses, Did you pay high medical bills or premiums? Keep track of the milage to and from the doctors office, hospitals or labs these are all deductible expenses, tax laws are constantly changing allowing more and more things to be medically deductible such as hot tubs for purposes as well as central air and various other home improvements for medical conditions
State sales tax, If you live in a state where you pay sales tax, keep your receipts!!! There is a new tax law that allows you to take a higher deduction if you spend more in sales tax than what is withheld from state witholding on your checks. This comes in handy if you have made major purchases such as a car, furniture, applinces, or if you just shop alot.
Hopefully these tips will help you save some money and tax time, and always remember to call a tax advisor if you have any questions.