If your employer does not reimburse you for your work-related expenses, any allowable expense in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income is fully deductible on Schedule A.

If your employer does reimburse you, the deductibility of the expense depends on the type of reimbursement plan you have. There are two types of employer reimbursement plans: an accountable plan and a non-accountable plan.

An accountable plan

Under an accountable plan, your employer’s reimbursement or allowance arrangement must require you to: (a) adequately account your expenses to your employer, and (b) return any excess reimbursement or allowance. Read More

Most married taxpayers automatically tend to choose the Married Filing Jointly filing status, because they enjoy being taxed at the lowest rate, and also because there are certain tax breaks they might not be entitled to if they were to file separate returns. This, however, might not always be a wise decision.

If you and your spouse each have income, it might be wise to figure your taxes both on a joint return and on separate returns, and then choose the filing status that gives you the lower combined tax. Generally, you will pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return, because the tax rate is higher for the MFS filing status. However, if both you and your spouse are high earners; and both of you also have large deductions, there may be a possibility that filing MFS could result in a lower tax bill, as Read More

If you suffered a loss on deposits you had with an insolvent financial institution, or in a ponzi-type investment scheme, all may not be totally lost.

You may be able to claim a deduction for losses on deposits in insolvent financial institutions, and the IRS affords you a number of choices of how to deduct these losses:

• You can treat the loss as a non-business bad debt, and deduct it as a short-term capital loss on Schedule D.
• You can deduct the loss as a casualty loss on Schedule A.
• You can deduct the loss as an ordinary loss under the “miscellaneous deductions subject to a 2% limit” section of Schedule A. Read More

The general rule for married taxpayers filing their tax returns is that they can only file Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS). There is, however, a very important exception to this rule. If you are married and separated from your spouse, under tax law you may be considered unmarried if certain conditions are met. This means that you could qualify to use the Head Of Household filing status instead of MFS, and will not be subject to the disadvantages associated with the MFS filing status.

Under tax law, you can be considered unmarried if you meet all the following tests:

• Obviously, you must intend to file a separate return from your spouse.
• You must have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year. Read More