4 Overlooked Tax Deductions That Yield Big Rewards

Tax time is upon us. While some people look forward to this time of year, many more dread it as they think about the amount of money that they may have to pay. It must be done, so let’s work at getting the most money back. After all, the IRS claims that millions overpay each year.

1. State Income Taxes
If you paid state taxes last year, then you are eligible to subtract them from your federal taxes this year. Make sure to know the exact amount that you paid in these taxes, so that your return is not delayed.

2. Job Search Expenses
Did you look for a new job in 2011? If so,  you are allowed to deduct up to 2 percent of your gross income for the expenses involved in a job search from this year’s taxes. To claim this deduction, you must not be looking for your first job, nor have any substantial break between your last job and the new one. The search must be for a job in the same occupation. If you pay an agency fee to help you in your search, then you can subtract that cost unless your new employer reimburses you for the cost. You can deduct cost for mailing and distributing your resume. If you travel, then the cost is deductible, as long as the primary reason for traveling was to look for a job.

3. Donations
We love those who give and so does the IRS, as long as you give to a qualified organization. If you get merchandise or a prize in exchange for your donation, then you can only donate the amount over the normal price of the merchandise. If you donate stock or real property, you can get a donation for the fair market value of those items. You must keep a record of the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and the amount of the donation. For amounts over $250, there are specific forms that you must file with the IRS. You can deduct the cost of travel to a volunteer position. You can also deduct any cost involved in your participation, such as uniforms. Don’t forget that you can also deduct your tithes and offerings to a religious organization.

4. Work
Many expenses can be deducted thanks to working. If you must have a cell phone for work, then the amount you pay for the cell phone above your normal usage is deductible. You can also deduct any dues paid to unions if you must belong to it in order to have your job. If you choose to belong to a professional organization, you can deduct those dues. You can also subtract the costs of any reading material that helps keeps you abreast on what is happening in your industry. If your job requires uniforms that would not be worn in the rest of your life, then you can subtract those costs.

Looks a little better, doesn’t it? Remembering to take each deduction that you can will help to lower your tax bill – so don’t be lazy!

Ashley Miller likes to write about finance, travel and Flowerdelivery.net.

Ten Tax Tips For Individuals Who Are Moving This Summer

Families often choose to move in the summertime. Moving in summer avoids the problem of having to work around school schedules. It can be an expensive task, but there are ways a person can reduce their moving-related expenses. They can even deduct some of the expenses if they know how or find some good tax tips for consultants.

  1. Time your move to coincide with the start of a new job. Moving-related expenses incurred within one year of the move can be written off on your 2011 taxes. The location of your new workplace must be at least 50 miles away from the location of the old workplace.
  2. Pass the time test. If you worked 40 weeks or more for a year after you moved you may be able to claim your moving expenses on your taxes. If you are self-employed, the time that must pass before you can claim your dedications is two years.
  3. Keep all of your hotel receipts. You can deduct the money you spent on lodging while moving from one place to another. This rule also applies to any of the travel expenses you may have incurred. Just remember that you can only deduct one trip per person.
  4. If you are good at holding on to receipts, you can deduct the cost of moving materials. You can include storage and utility costs as a deduction on your tax return. The cost of setting up utilities at the new home also counts.

You cannot deduct any portion of the cost of your new home, unfortunately. You do not need to if you know other aspects of the tax code.