January through April first is a stressful time for tax payers. The waiting and wondering if you will get a refund or end up owing money can be a frustrating experience. Many times, tax payers miss out on money they may have been owed in the form of a refund because they've left off some deductions they are eligible for. This year, make sure you're getting the most money back possible by ensuring that you can claim certain deductions on your return.
Energy Saving Improvements
If you've gotten new energy efficient windows or a new heating and cooling system, you could be eligible for a good sized deduction. Before you claim this on your return, make sure that the home improvements you've made fall under the current energy efficient guidelines. If you find out that the new solar panels you added or that new geothermal water heater is able to be claimed, be sure you include it on your return and you could end up with a credit of anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
If you're an educator and you've spent some of your own money on supplies, you can claim this as a deduction on your tax return. The capped amount is set at $250, but it does not have to be itemized and it will reduce your gross income, resulting in more money in your pocket. Since many teachers end up spending their own money to help the classroom, this deduction can be very helpful.
Whenever you donate clothing to the local thrift store or give money to a non-profit organization, this can be claimed as a tax deduction. Get a receipt whenever possible just in case you are audited, but most of the time you can add these donations to your tax return without any issue. You can also claim any money you donated to a political campaign on your tax return. Be sure to read the current annual guidelines to make sure you're entering the correct limits on your return.
All homeowners who paid interest on their mortgage can claim this on their annual tax return. Your home mortgage lender should provide you with a form at the end of the year that shows how much interest you've paid along with any other costs including mortgage insurance and property taxes. Some people can find significant tax savings with this deduction, so be sure you include this on your return to help increase your total refund at the end of the year.
For assistance, talk to a professional like Balkcom Pearsall & Parrish CPA's PA.