Part of the way to make sure you get a refund is to claim all the deductions and credits you're eligible for
Every adult knows that life events like having a child and buying a house have benefits when it comes time to file taxes, but there are also other ways to save. Part of making sure you get a tax refund means claiming all of the deductions and credits that you're eligible for.
Did you donate supplies during the holidays? Are you self-employed? It's important to make sure that you don't miss valuable tax deductions when you file your returns. Below are seven deductions for family, home, and business that people often overlook.
- Personal Property Taxes
- Medical Expenses
- Charitable Contributions
- Moving Expenses
- Casualty-Loss Deduction
- Home Office Expenses
If you bought a car, house, or even a boat this year, you probably realized that you would have to pay taxes on it. You might even have gotten a state and local personal property tax bill at some point during the year. Though this takes a chunk of change out of your wallet, you should know that state and local property taxes for personal property may be tax deductible.
Though no one really likes going to the doctor, there is a small silver lining to keeping those appointments: you might be able to claim your medical expenses as a tax deduction. If you had medical procedures exceeding 10 percent of your adjusted gross income—7.5 percent for those 65 and older—and have itemized your deductions and paid your bills within the filing tax year, you may be eligible to claim the expenses. If you had medical expenses last year, think about itemizing your deductions and seeing if you might be able to get a refund.
It can be rewarding as well as helpful to give to others, particularly in times of need. It is important not only to keep receipts for any charitable donations you make but also to include any supplies you bought that were used to help a nonprofit.
Did you have to move because of a new job? If so, you might qualify for a tax deduction for your moving expenses. However, you do have to meet the IRS's distance and time guidelines; for example, your new job has to be at least 50 miles further from your old house than the distance between that house and your old job.
If you refinanced your house last year, you might be able to deduct part of your points (pre-paid interest that the borrower pays the lender for a mortgage). Points are spread over the length of the loan and may also be called loan origination fees, maximum loan charges, discount points, or loan discounts.
Were you affected by one of the weather-related disasters of 2016 (such as Hurricane Matthew) or any other unforeseen disaster? If you were, you could qualify for a tax deduction for your casualty loss. The IRS lets people deduct casualty losses if they have not been reimbursed by their insurance company. Remember to also review the home mortgage interest you have paid since it can be a big deduction for homeowners.
If you are self-employed and running your business from home, you can claim the home office deduction as long as a space in your home is used only and regularly for your business. You can deduct a percentage of home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, property taxes, and utilities based on the part of the house that you used for office space.