“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” — Albert Einstein.
Do you find tax returns to be completely and utterly confusing?
Well, cut your self some slack—even Einstein found taxes complicated. Many taxpayers have two fears. One, an audit. And two, missing a major credit or deduction.
We may not be able to help you with an audit, but if you haven’t finished your tax return for this year, here are five deductions that might be worth asking about.
If your child went to camp last year: Summer day camp expenses may qualify for a tax credit if your child is under 13 years old and you had to enroll them so you could work or look for work. Expenses for overnight camps do not count. This is part of the child and dependent care credit, which also can include afterschool programs, babysitters and other care-related expenses.
If a loved one is in a nursing home: If your parent or spouse is in a nursing home primarily for medical care, then all associated costs, including meals and lodging, may be a deductible medical expense. You may also have a deduction if you are using an at-home caregiving agency. Additionally, if you’re paying the bills for an aging parent, you may be able to claim them as a dependent even if they’re living in a nursing home.
If you were on the job hunt: If you were looking for a job in the same field as your previous position, then you may qualify for itemized deductions. Mileage, airfare, employment agency or counseling fees, long distance calls and postage may all be considered deductible expenses. Interview outfits and first time job hunts don’t count.
If you work out of your home: If you regularly use part of your home exclusively for business, you may qualify for a home office deduction. This deduction is typically calculated based on the percentage of your home used for business purposes. Employees may also qualify if they use a home office for the convenience of their employer.
If you gave a little time or money to charity: It’s not just the big checks that count! Out-of-pockets expenses add up and, in some cases, qualify for a deduction. You may be able to deduct mileage, the buying and cleaning of uniforms, and supplies like postage stamps.
Final tip: Think you missed a credit or deduction? Even if you’ve already filed this year, you can still take a Second Look with H&R Block. They’ll review old returns (up to three years back), look for missed credits and deductions and re-file for you.
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