Believe it or not, plenty of people miss out on these easy tax deductions, and you may have missed a few in the past. Tax deductions can help you reduce the amount of tax money you owe, helping you keep more of your money in your pocket. But tax deductions aren't always clearly defined, and it takes a bit of practice to learn what things you can deduct and what things you cannot. Read on to find out about the tricky deductions you may be leaving on the table.
In any given year, you may be on the hunt for a new job. Perhaps you lost the job you held before, or perhaps you are on the lookout for a job that pays better or is located in a new city or state. Expenses you incur in this job search, including money spent printing and mailing resumes and money spent traveling to interviews, is considered tax deductible. If you must move more than 50 miles to take the job, some of your moving expenses are also tax deductible. If you're hunting for your first job, you cannot write off your search expenses, but you can still deduct some of your moving expenses.
If you must travel for your work, you can deduct the amount of money you spend to have your home cleaned or watched while you're away. You can also deduct the amount of money you spend cleaning your uniform for work. If you read journals or books to stay up-to-date in your industry, you can also deduct those costs. If you work from home, you can even deduct a portion of your home mortgage payments.
If you've fallen prey to the pledge drives and you donate money each month to a radio station or television station, those donations are tax-deductible. Taking a carload of unwanted items could also reap big tax benefits, as those items can sometimes be deducted. Just remember to get a receipt from the agency before you drive away in your empty car. If you mail letters for your child's school fundraiser, the postage you pay is also deductible. If you drive to the local soup kitchen each week to donate time, you can also deduct the mileage on your car as a charitable donation.
Eyeglasses, hearing aids and other medical equipment are considered tax deductible. You can also deduct the mileage you spend driving to and from your medical appointments. If you participate in a stop-smoking or alcohol-cessation program, your expenses may also be deductible. If you're self-employed, you can also deduct the premiums you pay for your health insurance.