Managing Money

Using Write Offs to Increase that Tax Refund

March 20, 2012

The following is a guest post.

Tax season is upon us, and the deadline to get your taxes in is only a few weeks away. While many of us have already filed, there is no doubt that several households will put off filing until the last minute and possibly even filing late taxes. If you have yet to send in your taxes for the previous year, make sure that you have included the following deductions. These deductions are often forgotten about, and if included, can definitely give your tax refund a boost:

Charitable Donations

While most of us can remember making big cash donations, we rarely pay attention to the small ones we make. If you prepared a dish for a non-profit function, those ingredients can be written off. If you paid for materials for your kid’s school play or fundraiser, you can write off those items. Even if you donated goods to Goodwill, you can write them off.

Student Loan Interest

If you pulled out a parent plus loan to help your kid through school and have repaid those loans at all, you can write the interest paid off on your taxes. Even if you paid down your child’s loan that was in his or her name, you can write off the interest paid. If you have paid enough interest, usually it must be an amount greater than $600, you should receive a 1098-E form in the mail which you can then use to write off the interest paid

Costs Incurred While Job Hunting

If you or your spouse had to search for a job this year, the costs incurred while searching for the job can be written off. In addition to travel and accommodations, you may also write off the meals and cab fares you accumulated. You may also deduct any costs incurred while creating and printing resumes or business cards. However, these expenses can’t exceed 2 percent of your income for that year.

Moving Costs

If you were required to move for your job and weren’t compensated for the move, your moving expenses may be written off. The only stipulation is that your move must have forced you to relocate 50 miles or more from your previous location, and you can write off anything from the gas you used to the boxes you needed to pack all your belongings in to.

Filing taxes is never a fun task, but if done right, it can definitely put a substantial amount of cash back in your pocket. If you have the time, sit down and consider which deductions you qualify for. You never know, filing for the right ones may give you a refund large enough to pay down some other debts, invest where you want, or go on that vacation you have always dreamed about.

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