Ah, it’s tax season again! One of my favorite times of the year! Just kidding- I hate tax season. But it definitely helps to know what I’m doing before I file- and I have an accountant. But accountants can only do so much if I’m completely disorganized. So hopefully you have all your w2s/1099s in order and are ready to go. But are you taking the tax deductions you deserve?
Deductions are basically items you’ve paid for that somehow relate to the job you do. So if you’re self-employed and have a modeling business and you’ve bought a bunch of make up and hair products for shoots, those are deductions. But there are countless other deductions for every profession- and you don’t have to be self-employed to take them. Before I list them all,just a quick reminder about the standard deduction- that’s the amount you’ll get to deduct from your income if you don’t itemize deductions separately. So you’ll always get to deduct something.
For example, if you made $40,000 this year and are filing as a single person or are married filing separately, the standard deduction for 2016 is $6,300. So it’s as if you only made $33,700 this year- and will only be taxed on that $33,700. So if you don’t have itemized deductions totaling more than $6,300, then you should take the standard deduction and that’s that. The standard deduction if you’re married and filing jointly is $12,600, and if you’re filing as head of household (meaning you have a dependent), your deduction is $9,300 this year.
So if you think you can possibly itemize deductions adding up to more than that, here are a few deductions you can try:
-Do you own a home? There are deductions you can take that relate to your home including what you’ve paid in property taxes, interest on a home equity loan, and possibly any home improvements made for medical care.
–Were you in school or paying off a student loan in 2016? You can deduct some of your tuition and loan interest!
-Did you have a child in 2016? You’re eligible for tax deductions!
–Are you self-employed and have a home office? You can deduct a portion of your rent and utilities! If you’re self-employed you can deduct a lot more though. See Mashable’s article on deductions for the self-employed. I’m too tired to write a whole new article on this, even though I’m self-employed- theirs is quite good.
–Did you move for a job? You can potentially write off your moving expenses EVEN IF YOU DON’T ITEMIZE DEDUCTIONS!
Also, if you had large healthcare bills (even dental bills) in 2016, or donated to charity, you can potentially write off a portion of these expenses as well!
So don’t leave money on the table this tax season- no matter how nice you aren’t you don’t need to pay Uncle Sam extra money you don’t actually owe!