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Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions

Are You Paying More Taxes Than You Should?

Tax time isn't something that we generally cheer about, but knowing that you're not overpaying the government might make the whole thing a little more pleasant. Kiplinger's put together a list of the 13 most-overlooked tax deductions — check them out to make sure you're deducting everything you can!

  1. State sales tax: This is mostly beneficial if your state doesn't impose an income tax. Figure out your deduction with the IRS sales tax deduction calculator.
  2. $250 educators' expenses: If you work in a classroom and spent money on books and supplies last year, you can deduct up to $250 for these purchases.
  3. College tuition: If you forked up college tuition payments last year for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent then you may be able to deduct up to $4,000.
  4. Student loan interest paid by Mom and Dad: If your parents paid student loan interest on your behalf and they don't claim you as a dependent, you can deduct up to $2,500 for any interest paid by your parents.
  5. Out-of-pocket charitable contributions: For example, ingredients for bake sales or stamps you bought to send out fundraising letters.
  6. Moving expense to take first job: If you moved more than 50 miles to live closer to your first job, you can deduct moving costs including 20 cents a mile, parking fees, and tolls — even if you drive your own car.

There are seven more on the list, so just

  1. Military reservists travel expenses: You may be eligible to deduct travel expenses to drills or meetings.
  2. Child-care credit: You can apply this credit to $6,000 of expenses for two or more children. If you run the maximum $5,000 through a reimbursement plan at work but your expenses exceed that amount, you can claim the credit on that extra $1,000, which would cut your tax bill by at least $200!
  3. Estate tax on income in respect of a decedent: If you inherited an IRA, you can take an income-tax deduction for the estate tax paid on the IRA.
  4. State tax you paid last Spring: Include any taxes you paid for your state return last tax season in this year's state-tax deduction.
  5. Refinancing points: If you refinance a mortgage the points are deducted over the life of the loan.
  6. Reinvested dividends: You can deduct every cent of reinvested dividends, and forgetting to include them means you're paying too much in taxes.
  7. Jury pay paid to employer: If you served jury duty last year, look for the line on your tax forms to include this deduction.


Join The Conversation
silvermoon silvermoon 9 years
ok - i am mad at my tax man now. i qualify for the student loan interest paid by dad. i asked the tax man about that and he said i can't put that down as a deduction.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Whoa, didn't know that about the sales tax deduction!!! I'm going to start saving my receipts for next year. I really hope it all works out so I don't have to pay anything additional this year.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
Nope. Nothing there that adds up more then the standard deduction. :( Maybe next year!
melizzle melizzle 9 years
I just filed for this year and didn't realize that there's also a "saver's credit" if you have an IRA or something similar... every little bit counts!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Thanks Savvy! :)
gooniette gooniette 9 years
Thanks for the reinvested dividends tip!
Green Green 9 years
I love this! I love savvy- I am so big on stuff like this. Also, remember to adjust your withholding on your W4 so you don't give the government a free loan.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
Even if I add up all the deductions I can find, it still doesn't come out to more than the standard deduction this year. Maybe next year!
jb3 jb3 9 years
Great list and tips as usual, Savvy! ashcwebb, I think its a little much to ask Savvy to have knowledge of how the Canadian tax system works...
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
ummm anything for Canada!? That's the ONLY thing I hate about Sugar! It is all American!
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