- Step 1: Deduct your taxes Deduct your state, local, and foreign income taxes, and non-business property taxes. Experts say taxpayers often forget that these are deductible.
- Step 2: Track your mileage Calculate mileage related to medical needs for you and any dependents, like trips to the doctor and pharmacy. Mileage pertaining to charitable works is also deductible, as long as the organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
- TIP: Keep receipts for everything you take as a deduction; if you're audited, anything you can't document won't be allowed.
- Step 3: Write off job-hunting expenses Deduct expenses related to a job search as long as you're seeking a position in the same field as your current field.
- Step 4: Cut your gambling losses Cut your gambling losses: If you won more than $600 gambling, but your losses exceeded those winnings, you may deduct the amount you won.
- TIP: You must be able to prove your losses, so save receipts from trips to the casino and lottery ticket purchases.
- Step 5: Claim your parents Claim your parents as dependents if they earn less than the exemption amount, and you can prove you are responsible for at least half their living expenses.
- TIP: Dependent parents don't necessarily have to live with you.
- Step 6: Include investment advice If you paid for financial advice, claim it as an investment expense.
- Step 7: Deduct necessary home improvements Deduct home renovations that are medically necessary, like a wheelchair ramp.
- Step 8: Remember rental property If you have rental property, deduct any and all expenses related to managing and maintaining it, including mileage involved in checking on the property, collecting rent, or running around getting the supplies to make a repair, the cost of which is also deductible.
- Step 9: File amended returns If you missed these deductions or any others, you may file amended tax returns going three years back.
- FACT: Americans spend about 100 days a year working just to pay their income taxes.
You Will Need
- Mileage calculations