The 13 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Thirteen often overlooked deductions that can blunt the dent to your wallet come April 15th.

1. State sales taxes.
2. $250 educators’ expenses.
3. College tuition.
4. Student loan interest paid by mom and dad.
5. Out-of-pocket charitable contributions.
6. Moving expense to take first job.
7. Military reservists travel expenses.
8. Child-care credit.
9. Estate tax on income in respect of a decedent
10. State tax you paid last spring.
11. Refinancing points.
12. Reinvested dividends
13. Jury pay paid to employer

We’re trying to claim lots of deductions this year, working freelance and all. We’re wondering, can you claim deductions this year on things you didn’t think to deduct in previous years? — BEN POPKEN

The 13 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions [Kiplinger's]

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  1. WebCudgel says:

    It was my understanding that the State Sales tax deduction ended for the filing of 2005 taxes and would not be available this year. Per the IRS website, it would appear this was so. Obviously they need to update their own site.

  2. sam says:

    I don’t think you can claim deductions on this year’s tax form that you should have claimed in years past, but you can definitely file amended returns for years past to add the deductions (and get additional refunds).

    I’ve done it before.

  3. chickymama says:

    Moving expenses can be deducted for any job (not just your first job) as long as you meet the requirements of distance and I believe time.

  4. tgiokdi says:

    Don’t forget about sales tax on fuel. In Florida, there’s 6% built into every gallon of gas, which is fully deductible!

  5. nweaver says:

    And just get a good piece of tax software, they will find things you didn’t know about (like if you make

  6. find a good accountant, not h&r block type of retards. the s/w works okay, but if you file several schedules (i tend to file schedules A-E excessively every year) I find it easier and less stressful to let someone I trust beat on my taxes.

    lots of expenses require you to file a schedule A, and that works if you have enough to top out your standard deduction.

  7. thrillhouse says:

    Right, I don’t believe I’ve ever had enough deductions to warrent filing the long form. We always try, since our situation changes drastically every year, but at the end of the day, I don’t think we’ve ever benefitted by itemizing.

    I will echo Moonshine Mike’s advice of finding a good accountant. Absolutely worth the money. Especially if you can find one who is more interested in teaching you about your taxes and saving you money, than one interested in creating every tax shelter imaginable.

  8. “10. State tax you paid last spring.”

    Seriously? Maybe those people live in low-tax states.

    +++We’re wondering, can you claim deductions this year on things you didn’t think to deduct in previous years?+++

    As someone said above, you can file amended returns for prior years but you can only claim 2006 stuff on your 2006 taxes.

    Generally the amended return is really easy (you want a 1040X), so it’s probably worth it at fairly low dollar amounts unless you have the complicated amended return from hell.

  9. SharkJumper says:

    I’m trying to work out the Telephone Tax Credit for the Federal Excise Tax. I’m too stubborn to take the standard deduction, so I’m going through 41 months worth of phone bills trying to add it up. Unfortunately AT&T/SBC (or whatever they call themselves these days) lumped this tax in the heading “Federal Taxes” instead of making it a separate line item.

    This is certainly putting a damper on the glee I would normally experience at wringing every penny back out of Uncle Sam.

  10. pestie says:

    OK, I’ll admit it – I went to H&R Block. I didn’t get one of those “refund anticipation loans,” though, just direct deposit. I just can’t be bothered to do my own taxes, even though they’re really very simple.

    Now that I’ve got my confession out of the way, I’ll say this – the state sales tax deduction is still very much alive. I know this because apparently it was re-authorized or something around the end of last year, which meant the IRS had to “update their e-file system,” and people like me, who wanted to file early but who needed to file Schedule A, had to wait until February 3rd to file. Bastards. Oh, but according to the IRS, this problem “only” affected about 930,000 taxpayers.

  11. brooklynbs says:

    Don’t forget to take a deduction for tax-preparation costs also.

    I echo the comment about finding a good accountant. Unless you’ve got a very straight-forward tax profile, a good accountant can make a world of difference.