Every year, the IRS comes a knockin’, and every year many of us wait until the last possible minute to file our taxes. In the frantic hours before the annual filing deadline, don’t get so frazzled that you forget about some commonly overlooked tax deductions that could mean more money in your pocket. Here are eight deductions you don’t want to ignore.
1. Fostering a Pet.
If you foster little furry babies while they wait for placement in a permanent home, you have the liberty to deduct expenses for litter, pet food, paper towels, and potentially even your mileage to the vet. The only caveat is that the organization you’re working with has to be a 501(c)(3) charity.
2. Baggage Fees.
Airlines don’t seem to mind driving passengers insane with outrageous baggage fees. If you get burned, perhaps Uncle Sam will help alleviate the pain. If you’re self-employed and are required to travel for business, make sure to allocate those costs to your deductible travel expenses.
3. Weight Loss.
Has your doctor told you that your weight is threatening your health? That may not be good news, but here’s what is: The cost of weight-loss programs or aids you choose to use to combat a specific disease may be tax deductible–if your doctor writes a recommendation for use.
Wearing a uniform to work may get monotonous, but great news, it can boost your tax return! The cost of the uniform itself, as well as the costs associated with maintaining it, are deductible.
To deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes, they must be worn as a condition of employment, and cannot be considered for everyday wear. A button-down shirt and a tie probably won’t qualify. However, scrubs, police officer uniforms and hard hats likely will.
5. Smoking Cessation.
Stopping smoking can be difficult, but the government has made the financial burden associated with quitting less painful. The cost of cessation aids, such as patches and gum, can count as tax deductions.
6. Moving Expenses.
The costs associated with relocating for a job are deductible, if you pass the distance (over 50 miles from your last residence) and time (39 weeks of full-time employment at your new employer) tests. What is not well known is that recent graduates who move for their first job can claim this deduction as well.
7. Hobby Expenses.
Hobby expenses fall under “other miscellaneous deductions”. You can only deduct as much as you generated in income from your hobby. For instance, if your fashion blog made you $300, but you spent over $1,000 to maintain it, you can only claim $300 in expenses. This will help regain some money if you have a small business that has gone three years without a profit, at which point the IRS recognizes your operation as a hobby.
8. Tax Preparation Fees.
You can write-off the cost of preparing your taxes. If you paid taxes with a credit or debit card, you can also deduct convenience fees. Keep in mind that this deduction only applies to fees paid in the year you’re deducting them. For instance, when you file taxes for 2015, you are only able to deduct fees paid in 2015 for your 2014 tax return.
Don’t leave money on the table this tax season. Take the time to look over these and other potential deductions. They could be the difference between a good refund and a great one!
And remember, E-file your taxes and open a Chime Spending account to get your refund early.