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Tag Archive for tax deductions

Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

Kazim Qasim - Overlooked Tax Deductions

Taxpayers know that there are tax deductions out there to be utilized to reduce the taxes paid on your income.  Most are aware of the common deductions, but there are many deductions that simply get overlooked by most taxpayers.

Gifts to charity is a good place to start.  Most taxpayers know that when you give a gift of money or items to a qualified charity, you can deduct the value of this gift, with proper documentation.  One common item that gets missed is the miles that you drove or out-of-pocket expenses you paid for the charities benefit.

Most taxpayers also consider mortgage interest.  Though less taxpayers are claiming the interest on their mortgage (due to no longer taking itemized deductions with the increase in the standard deduction), mortgage interest still remains a large deduction.  An additional deduction that is sometimes missed are the points associated with refinancing your mortgage.  Additionally, when you pay-off or refinance a mortgage that has points still remaining, you can deduct those points in full.  Be aware that using the same lender for another mortgage often means that the remaining points simply get rolled into the new mortgage and are therefore not deductible.

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Wonder What A Tax Deduction Is Worth?

Charles Woodson - What Is A Tax Deduction Worth

Individuals are always looking for tax deductions that can reduce their tax liability. But what is the actual tax benefit derived from a tax deduction? There is no straightforward answer because some deductions are above the line, others must be itemized, some must exceed a threshold amount before being deductible, and certain ones are not deductible for alternative minimum tax purposes, while business deductions can offset both income and self-employment tax. In other words, there are many factors to consider, and the tax benefits differ for each individual, depending on his or her particular situation and tax bracket.

For most non-business deductions, the savings are based upon your tax bracket. For example, if you are in the 12% tax bracket, a $1,000 deduction would save you $120 in taxes. On the other hand, if you are in the 32% tax bracket, the $1,000 deduction will save you $320 in taxes. Even so, if your taxable income is close to transitioning into the next-lower tax bracket, the benefit will be lower. You also need to consider whether the particular deduction is allowed on your state return and what your state tax bracket is to determine the total tax savings. Currently, the maximum federal tax bracket is 37%, meaning the most benefit that can be derived from a $1,000 income tax deduction is $370. Some individuals justify making discretionary purchases just because they are tax-deductible. Even in the highest tax bracket, you are still paying $630 out of pocket ($1,000 − $370), so it does not make sense to incur a tax-deductible expense just for the tax deduction.

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Tax Reform Dealt Teachers A Raw Deal

Chuck Woodson Tax Reform Dealt Teachers A Raw Deal

It is quite common for teachers to spend their own money on classroom supplies – so common, in fact, that a few years back, Congress created a special deduction that allowed teachers to deduct up to $250 above-the-line for classroom supplies. “Above-the-line” means the deduction can be claimed whether or not the taxpayer itemizes their deductions. Although the $250 amount is subject to an inflation adjustment, there has been no increase to the limit, at least through 2018.

Eligible educators are those who work in a school as teachers of kindergarten through grade 12, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides for at least 900 hours during a school year. Because of the 900-hour requirement, many substitute teachers do not qualify for this above-the-line deduction.

But $250 is not much, and even if the teacher is in a tax bracket as high as 24% (most are in lower brackets), the deduction will only net them a tax savings of $60. A $60 tax savings is nothing to write home about, and the $250 special deduction was nothing more than a token gesture by Congress. Many conscientious teachers spend far more than $250 for classroom supplies every year.

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IRS Issues Guidance On Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Changes On Business Expense Deductions For Meals, Entertainment

IRS Issues Guidance On Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Changes

The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance today on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following law changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The 2017 TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation. Read more

Day Care Providers Enjoy Special Tax Benefits

Chuck Woodson, daycare, self-employed, tax benefits, tax help,tax deductions

A taxpayer who is in the business of providing family day care in their home may deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses of their business. The two primary deductions include the business use of their home and the cost of providing meals and snacks to children in their care. The following is a rundown on deductible business expenses for home day care providers.  Read more

IRS: Summer Tips For Temporary Jobs, Marriage, Deductions And Credits

IRS, IRS Tips

Before starting a summer job, taking a vacation or sending the kids off to camp, the Internal Revenue Service wants taxpayers to know that some summertime activities may qualify for tax credits or deductions. The IRS also recommends that taxpayers check the amount of their withholding taxes now to help avoid surprises next filing season.

Here are some tips from the IRS that may help taxpayers lower taxes and avoid issues with their taxes:

  1. Worker classification matters.  As with other workers, business owners must correctly determine whether summer workers are employees or independent contractors. Independent contractors are not subject to withholding, making them responsible for paying their own income taxes plus Social Security and Medicare taxes. Workers can avoid higher tax bills and lost benefits if they know their proper status.
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How Real Estate Can Reduce Your Tax Obligation

To maximize the tax benefits of property ownership, homeowners, investors and real estate professionals alike need to be aware of the breaks available to them as well as the rules and limits that apply. Whether you’re selling your principal residence, renting out a vacation property or maintaining a home office, tax savings are available if you plan carefully. However, in some cases, tax savings may be reduced under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Home-Related Tax Breaks

There are many tax benefits to home ownership — among them, various deductions. But when you file your 2017 tax return, the itemized deduction reduction could reduce your tax benefit from some of these breaks. And while that limit goes away for 2018, the TCJA reduces or eliminates these breaks:

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Tax Saving Tips For Contractual And Project Based Employees

Being a contractual or project based employee has quite a few benefits when it comes to taxes. For an instance, you are eligible for a few tax deductions without even having to itemize the same. The following are some great ways of saving money on tax dollars if you a contract and/or project based employee.

Include Business Expenses

A lot of contract employees either shy away or are too skeptical when it comes to deducting business expenses from their returns.As a project based or contract employee, it is imperative that you keep a track of all your earnings throughout a year. If you can manage, having separate cards and accounts for business and personal usage would be ideal. Read more

Tax Deductions Vs. Tax Credits

Tax Credits and Deductions are probably the most exciting part when preparing your tax return. They both help you save money by reducing your overall income tax liability. So, you should take a full advantage of all the tax credits and deductions you qualify for.

Tax Credits and Deductions are probably the most exciting part when preparing your tax return. They both help you save money by reducing your overall income tax liability. So, you should take a full advantage of all the tax credits and deductions you qualify for.
As many still get confused about the difference between tax credits and tax deductions, here’s a simple introduction to the these two in the light of the New Tax Reform that just has been approved.  Read more

Meals, Entertainment, And Transportation May Cost Businesses More Under The TCJA

Along with tax rate reductions and a new deduction for pass-through qualified business income, the new tax law brings the reduction or elimination of tax deductions for certain business expenses. Two expense areas where the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes the rules — and not to businesses’ benefit — are meals/entertainment and transportation. In effect, the reduced tax benefits will mean these expenses are more costly to a business’s bottom line. Read more

Tax Breaks For College Expenses 2017

If you’re a college student (or the parent of one), you should know about some key tax breaks that are available to you when you do your taxes.

Tax Credits

There are two tax credits for higher education. They’re targeted at different types of students, so it pays to know the differences. Read more

How To Write Off MileIQ On Your Taxes

MileIQ is a great way to automatically track your business drives for the largest mileage deduction you deserve. But, did you know you can also write off MileIQ on your taxes?

Why Can You Write Off MileIQ

If you’re self-employed, a freelancer or run your own small business, the IRS lets you deduct virtually any reasonable business expense. The only conditions are that these costs are: Read more