Tax return preparation is very difficult for most people even if you are going to a trained professional like my self. Often deductions are missed simply because the taxpayer has not thought of them and the tax preparer has not asked. Here is a list of the most commonly missed tax deductible items.
1. Miles driven for medical related incidences are deductible as an itemized deduction. The rate is $.24 for 2009 and $.16.5 for 2010. Miles are totaled for doctor visits and hospital visits. Start adding them up and you will be amazed. Think about it on a weekly or monthly basis and then multiply by 52 or 12 respectively.
2. Most know that mortgage interest is deductible but did you know the interest you pay on a 2nd home is also deductible? Savvy tax payers will include their motor home in this deduction if it has a working bathroom and kitchen.
3. Charitable donations are often overlooked since we do this out of the kindness of our hearts. But when it comes tax time sit down and figure these up. Include donations to Deseret Industries and vehicles donated to different foundations.
4. Expenses incurred during a move that is job related are a tax deductible item. Ask your tax preparer about this one as there are certain tests to be satisfied. If you qualify include expenses for transportation and storage of household goods. Also travel including lodging from your old home to your new home is deductible.
5. Deducting alimony can provide an annual tax reduction of $3,360 per year assuming $1,000 paid per month and you are in a 28% tax bracket. Do not pass this one up as the alimony is also taxable to your ex.
6. Interest paid on student loans is deductible. Many times after graduation you take a new job and your address changes. The year end statement showing the amount of interest paid for the calendar year gets misplaced. Therefore, if you paid student loan interest or have a child that did do not pass this tax deductible item up.
7. Taxes withheld from your paycheck that have been sent on to your state on your behalf by your employer are deductible. Also if you owed your state for taxes from the year before that you paid during the current tax year do not forget this tax deductible item.
8. Loans made to family and friends who have failed to repay you are deductible as worthless debts on Schedule D. You are limited to $3,000 per year until the full loss is taken. But if you have capital gains then the whole loss can be taken up to the amount of the capital gain plus $3,000.
9. If you are self employed there are countless deductions but for the purpose of this article do not be afraid to take a loss on line 12 of your 1040 resulting from your Schedule C. If I did not make any income from my self employed venture can I take a loss? Yes absolutely as long as you materially participated.
10. Rental income from a family member is usually unreported because we want to beat the system. First this is illegal but second you are missing out on a very large tax deductible item.