13 Expenses To Write Off On Your Taxes That You Probably Didn’t Know About
Tax season can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Sure, it's exciting to think about the refund check you may get back, but it's not quite as exciting when you remember all of the work you need to do to get there — and also the potential fees or taxes you may actually owe. It could end up getting expensive fast, especially if you have no idea what you're doing and need to hire outside help to get all of your tax items and documents together (which, let's face it, most of us have to do). It's always nice to hear that there might be something to make the process a little bit better: like maybe expenses you didn't know you could write off for your taxes. Who doesn't want to hear that they could potentially save a little money in a surprising way?! Every bit counts!
Of course, these deductions may all be limited, or have certain restrictions, so it's important to talk about them with an expert if you feel like you need to do so. But if you're thinking of just skipping them so you don't have to do the extra work, think again. These deductions may seem small and inconsequential, but what's the point in ignoring them? They can add up, and really, they're owed to you! There's no reason you shouldn't take advantage of them, even if it means doing a little extra work to get there.
Check out some of the expenses you can deduct that you may have never even thought about:
1. School Supplies
If you're a teacher, you're probably well aware that there are instances in which you have to spend your own money on school supplies for your classroom. If that's the case, be sure to remember what you purchases. According to Turbo Tax, qualified K-12 educators can deduct up to $250 for materials. You can subtract it from your income so you don't have to itemize.
2. Certain Instances Of Childcare
Apparently, if you pay for childcare while you're working, you can take a tax deduction between 20-35% of those costs (although if your company allows you to use pre-tax money for childcare, that might be the better option). You might also be able to deduct babysitting costs if you pay for a sitter while you're volunteering to work for no pay for a recognized charity.
3. State Sales Tax
Turbo Tax says that you have the option to deduct sales taxes or state income taxes off your federal income tax. You do need to itemize in order to get the deduction, but if you made a big purchase, like a car or expensive jewelry, deducting the sales tax could be beneficial.
4. State Tax You Paid Last Year
If you owed taxes when you filed your taxes last year, then you should include that amount with your state tax itemized deduction, plus any state income taxes withheld from your paychecks or paid via quarterly estimated payments. It's limited to $10,000 per year.
5. Student Loan Interest
Don't get too excited too fast. If your parents paid your student loan debt, then the IRS treats that as a gift to you. If your parents aren't claiming you, you can qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest that they paid.
6. Disaster and Theft Losses
If you had anything stolen from you or lost in some sort of disaster, the only upside to that situation is that you can deduct these losses on your taxes.
7. Any Kind Of Charitable Expense
You likely already knew that you can deduct any charitable donation you make. But you can also expense any item that has anything to do with a charity, like the ingredients needed if you make cookies for a bake sale or something like that.
8. Work Uniforms
If you have to wear a specific uniform for work that you pay for, you can probably deduct it from your taxes. This includes things like military uniforms, theater costumes, and protective clothing.
9. Home Office Expenses
If you work from home, or use your home as your primary location for your job or meeting clients or even as a storage place for inventory or product samples, you can write off part of the expenses. Keep them in mind!
10. Car Registration
Paying to register your car can feel like a slap in the face after all of the other payments you have to make. But you can actually use registration as a tax deduction, keeping in mind that certain rules apply.
11. Any Strange Business Expense
Almost anything you buy that benefits your business is considered a valid deduction as long as it can be justified. This includes weird things, like a deduction for cat food expenses to keep cats around a junkyard to keep mice away (this really happened!).
12. Pregnancy Test Costs
According to Cheat Sheet, you should keep the receipts for any pregnancy tests you purchase. You can use them as a deductible medical expense, but there's a catch: the total medical expenses must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income to get the deduction. You can deduct other pregnancy-related expenses to get there, like in-vitro fertilization and breast pumps, hospital fees and medications, and even the cost of getting to the doctor.
13. Commuting Expenses
You aren't allowed to deduct the cost of driving to and from work from your 1040, but if you have to drive from your main office to another location at night, you may be able to deduct those miles. You can also do this if you have to commute between two different jobs, or even commuting to a temporary work location.