Countdown to Tax Filing!

11:00 PM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

Did you know there are only 42 days until April 15th?

That means only a few more weeks to finish up those taxes.  To help fuel that fire under you to get them done already, here are a few lesser-known credits, deductions, and other benefits you can get from filing your taxes.

State Sales Tax Deduction: Typically taxpayers deduct the income taxes you pay to your state as part of the itemized deductions.  Well, did you know you actually have a choice to deduct either the income taxes OR the sales tax?  This is particularly helpful for those of you in states without income taxes (I'm looking at you Texas and Washington, to name only two).   Even if you do pay state income taxes, it's usually worth it to run the calculation and see which is most beneficial.  If you bought big tickets items last year, it's possible you paid more in sales tax than income taxes.  (IRS reference here.)  Oh!  And don't forget to include any state income tax you may have owed when you filed your taxes last spring!

Job-Hunting Costs Deduction: Include these costs as miscellaneous expenses on your itemized deductions.  Things like: employment agency fees, transportation expenses, and printing resumes are all qualifying expenses.  (Note: expenses incurred while looking for your first job are not eligible.)

Moving Expenses Deduction: If your move is closely related to the start of your new job both in time and distance ([Time] within one year of your start date and [Distance] is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your previous job was from your former home) then you can deduct all costs associated with the move.  You can deduct the cost of packing, crating, and transporting household goods and personal effects, as well as the cost of shipping your car and disconnecting utilities.  As always, in order to deduct the expenses, you must have paid for them yourself originally.

Second Job Mileage Deduction:  If you are working to jobs and commute between the two, those miles in between are eligible for the standard mileage rate deduction on your return.  (IRS reference here.)

Well, there you go!  I hope that helps save some money for you.  Now go finish up those taxes!

Note: The examples listed above are abbreviations from IRS code and publication and cannot be used as source material for filing taxes.  Please reference the forms and instructions published by the IRS directly for tax advice.