Maximizing Your Tax Deductions: What You Need to Know

Tax season can be a stressful time for many people, but it doesn't have to be. Knowing what deductions you can claim on your income tax can help you save money and reduce your taxable income. There are a variety of deductions available, from the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to deductions for charitable contributions and medical expenses. In addition, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you have a low or moderate income.

Understanding the different deductions available and when to itemize or take the standard deduction can help you maximize your tax return. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is available to those who pay for childcare or other dependent care services. Property taxes may also be deductible if itemized, although there is a limit in place until 2025. Mortgage insurance premiums, mortgage interest, and real estate taxes are all deductible when it comes to your home. Charitable contributions in cash totaling up to 60% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) are also deductible. Donations of items or property are also considered deductible charitable contributions. Medical and dental expenses qualify for a tax deduction, although you can only deduct costs that exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

The amount of your credit depends on your income, so it's important to consult IRS Publication 170 to determine income requirements. If you're self-employed, you can deduct 100% of the health insurance premiums you pay monthly for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. When filing taxes with multiple deductions, it's important to gather all the appropriate documentation, such as Form 1098 for mortgage interest rate deductions. For other deductions based on expenses or contributions, keep accurate records. You have the option of deducting sales taxes or state income taxes from your federal income tax.

In a state that doesn't have its own income tax, this can save a lot of money. Even if you paid state taxes, the sales tax exemption might be a better deal if you make a large purchase. You must itemize to take the deduction instead of taking the standard deduction. TurboTax helps determine if it's best for you to itemize or take the standard deduction based on your inputs and, if it itemizes, whether you should deduct sales tax or deduct state income taxes. Itemized deductions are specific types of expenses incurred by the taxpayer that can reduce taxable income.

Types of itemized deductions include mortgage interest, state or local income taxes, property taxes, medical or dental expenses that exceed AGI limits, or charitable donations. If you have a low or moderate income, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can help you reduce the amount of taxes you owe. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return - even if you don't owe any taxes or are not required to do so. If the EITC lowers your taxes to less than zero, you may receive a refund. Personal property taxes, which include real estate taxes, are deductible along with state and local taxes that were assessed the previous year. If something is used to benefit your company and you can document the reasons, you can generally deduct it from your company's income.

This means you can lower your taxes in addition to taking the standard deduction instead of itemizing. Your tax preparer should also be able to allow you to determine if you should itemize or take the standard deduction. The standard deduction is an automatic deduction from your taxable income that you can receive without any details. Contributions you make to a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or traditional or Roth IRA give you a 50%, 20%, or 10% tax credit depending on the adjusted gross income reported on Form 1040. To get the most out of your tax return, read on to learn when to itemize your deductions and when to stick with the standard deduction. This last category of detailed deductions includes items such as gambling losses as measured by gambling profits, losses of corporations or public limited companies in subchapter S, wealth taxes on the income of a deceased person (IRD) and some other expenses. When filing your taxes each year, you have the option of taking the standard deduction or itemizing your deductions.

If a taxpayer incurs an accidental loss in one year and deducts it from their taxes, any refund they receive in subsequent years should be counted as income.