If you have at least a few years of experience in paying annual taxes, then you know that things like dependents, charitable contributions, education costs and business expenses all count as helpful tax deductions that can greatly cut down on what you owe, and even help you get a sizable tax return. But not all tax deductions are so obvious, and every year the IRS reports that millions of Americans actually paid more taxes than they needed to. With that in mind, here are six often overlooked but still very legitimate tax deductions to keep in mind during tax preparation in Des Moines, IA:
- Moving for your first job: If you recently entered the job market and moved a long distance for a new job, you could probably list that as a deduction. If you moved over fifty miles from your previous home, deduct 23 cents per mile. However, keep in mind that expenses related to originally attaining that job are not deductible.
- Charity expenses: Nearly everyone knows that, when you contribute money to a charity, you get to write it off as a tax deduction. But not everyone is aware that money spent that indirectly benefits a charity—such as ingredients for food donated to a homeless shelter, or gas to drive to an animal shelter for a volunteer shift—can also be deducted. Keep tabs on these expenses throughout the year, and bring your receipts with you when you meet for tax preparation in Des Moines, IA.
- Parents’ student loan payments: If your parents took on loans so that they could afford to send you to college, the money they are spending to pay off that loan is actually deductible on your tax return. The IRS essentially sees it as money your parents have given to you, meaning that you can deduct up to $2,500 paid by your parents or legal guardians.
- Jury pay given to your employer: Often, employers will continue to pay their employees full salaries when they are on jury duty, but ask that the employee will turn over their jury duty stipend back to the company. However, the IRS still requires you to list that jury duty stipend as income, meaning that if you gave it to your employer, you deserve to have it deducted from your taxes.
- Childcare tax credit: This one is a little complicated, but essentially, if you spend money on childcare while you are at work, you might qualify for a childcare tax credit worth up to $6,000. Ask your accountant to look into the recently changed rules regarding this tax deduction.
- Pet care: Let’s say you own a small business, and you keep cats on the property that happen to kill mice. That cat is actually helping to improve your business, meaning you can deduct its food costs and health bills as business expenses. Moving expenses related to pets might also qualify for tax deductions.
To ensure you get the most out of your tax deductions, you will need the help of an experienced and thorough tax preparation service. For more information, get in touch with Accounting & Tax Professionals, PLC today.