What can I deduct on my tax return?

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Often clients ask me what they can deduct on their taxes. The answer is not so cut and dry. It really depends on each client’s specific situation. Below I have compiled a list of possible deductions. Remember you must maintain accurate records to substantiate your deductions. I hope this helps in preparing and planning for tax season.

Schedule A Itemized Deductions

Taxes

  • Disability insurance tax
  • Estimated tax payments
  • Foreign income tax
  • Occupational taxes
  • Personal property taxes
  • Prior year’s state and local income tax
  • Real estate tax  
  • State and local income taxes or general sales tax

Interest

  • Late payment charge on mortgage payment
  • Mortgage insurance premiums
  • Mortgage interest
  • Mortgage prepayment penalties
  • Points

 Charity

  • Charitable contributions made to qualified U.S. charities
  • Mileage to donate goods to charity or to perform charitable services

 Other

  •  Advisory fees
  • Casualty and theft Losses
  • Interest on margin accounts
  • Investment counsel fees
  • Investment expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Safe deposit box rent
  • Tax return fees

Schedule C- Business Profit and Loss

Advertising

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Publications related to your profession
  • Trade journals

Dues and Fees

  • Dues to a professional organization
  • Dues to chambers of commerce
  • Licenses
  • Regulatory fees for your profession
  • Union dues, initiation fees, and assessments

Education

  • Educational expenses related to your present work that maintains or improves your skills
  • Research expenses

Supplies

  • Business use of computer
  • Supplies needed for your work

Home Office

Keep in mind the home office is dedicated space only used for office work. Also the use of this office must be for the benefit of your employer not just a conveyance to you.

  • Expenses for an office in your home

Job Search

Keep in mind to deduct job search expenses, you must be looking for a job in your current field.

  • One half of your meal costs directly related to your job search
  • Business publications
  • Career counseling
  • Employment agency fees
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Marketing
  • Portfolio preparation costs
  • Resume fees such as mailing, printing, and creating
  • Telephone charges
  • Transportation to interviews and travel expenses

 Meals and Entertainment

  • Meals and entertaining costs

 Travel and Transportation

  • Transportation between your home and a temporary work
  • Transportation from one job to another if you work in several areas
  • Traveling costs while away on business
  • Traveling costs while on a temporary work assignment

Uniforms

  • Dry cleaning
  • Protective clothing
  • Safety equipment
  • Specialized clothing designed for your job
  • Uniforms

Miscellaneous

  • Employee contributions to state disability funds
  • Gifts
  • Legal fees
  • Liability insurance
  • Medical exams required by your employer
  • Office supplies
  • Passport
  • Postage
  • Printing and copying
  • Tax preparation fees

Self-Employed

  • Business insurance
  • Commissions and fees
  • Health insurance
  • Interest on business loans
  • Keogh or SEP contributions
  • Rent
  • Rental of business property
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Taxes and licenses
  • Utilities

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Qualified Medical Expenses

  • Acupuncture
  • Alcoholism or drug treatment
  • Artificial limbs
  • Birth control
  • Braces
  • Braille publications
  • Contacts or Glasses
  • Crutches
  • Dental fees
  • Diets, exercise programs, and other food and programs prescribed by a doctor
  • Doctor expenses
  • Driving and lodging expenses while away from home to receive medical care  
  • Eye surgery
  • Fees and rent associated with a nurse or home attendant
  • Fertility treatment
  • Hearing aids
  • Hospital related expenses
  • In home nursing
  • Insurance premiums
  • Lead-based paint removal where a child had lead poisoning
  • Long term care
  • Mattresses for specific conditions
  • Medicines
  • Nursing home
  • Organ transplant costs
  • Oxygen equipment.
  • Service dog
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Socks for circulation problems
  • Special education tuition
  • Surgery to improve a deformity not cosmetic
  • Swimming therapy costs
  • Television for hearing impaired persons
  • Transportation costs for obtaining medical care
  • TTY Telephone costs
  • Wheelchairs
  • Wig for the mental health of a patient who lost his or her hair due to a disease.
  • X-ray services
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