Often Missed Tax Deductions and Credits
The tax landscape can be difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, figuring out which tax write-offs you qualify for could prove lucrative. To put you on the right path, consider whether these little-known tax deductions and credits could save you thousands of dollars down the line.
Job search expenses
Certain job hunt-related expenses are tax-deductible, including travel costs, fees paid to employment agencies and the cost of printing and mailing your resume. These can be claimed as miscellaneous itemized deductions. You'll qualify for this tax break as long as you were looking for a job within your line of work and if it wasn't your first time looking for a job.
Cost of moving
If you relocated because of a new job, certain moving expenses can be deducted from your tax bill. Using Form 3903, you can deduct moving expenses if your new workplace is “at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your old home,” according to the IRS.
Energy-saving tax credits
If you made energy-saving additions to your home before Dec. 31, 2016, you might be able to deduct some of those costs. The overall credit is capped at $500, with more limits imposed on specific appliances, which can be found on Form 5695.
Tax preparation fees
If you received professional help to file your taxes, any associated fees can be deducted the following year as miscellaneous itemized deductions. That includes the cost of software programs offered by companies like TaxACT, TurboTax and H&R Block.
Child and dependent care credit
Using Form 2441, you might qualify for a child and dependent care credit if you paid for the care of a dependent under the age of 13, or if you were taking care of an aging parent. You'll only qualify for the child care credit if you and your spouse filed a joint return, and if both of you were working or “actively looking for work,” as the IRS puts it.
If your income was under a certain dollar amount in 2016, you may qualify for the earned income tax credit. The cutoff point is determined by your tax filing status as well as by how many children you have. For example, if you are unmarried, have three or more children and earned less than $47,955, you'll qualify for this tax break. But if you're married and have three or more children, that earnings limit increases to $53,505.
Home office deduction
If you spend the majority of your time working from home, you could qualify for a home office deduction. Deductions for a home office are typically based on the percentage of your house that's used primarily for business reasons. To calculate your individual tax break, refer to Form 8829.
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