It’s that time of year — tax refund season! With the deadline for taxes fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of surprising deductions, so last-minute filers can maximize your return.
- Things you bought for work and didn’t get reimbursed for. The cost of a uniform that is “not suitable for everyday use,” including protective clothing, is something people often overlook. If you travel for work, you can claim transportation, baggage fees, meals, and lodging.
- Car Mileage. If you use your car for work (Uber, Lyft, Favor, Amazon, etc.), you could deduct the cost of operations using a standard mileage rate or the actual-expense method.
- You can deduct up to $4000 in qualifying higher education costs you paid yourself.
- Student Loan Interest.2 million Americans pay student loans, but did you know you could get money back on their interest? The forms should be available through your student loan servicer.
- Continuing Education. If you took a class to further your job skills, you could deduct the cost of your textbooks, tuition, books, supplies, lab fees, and even transportation or travel.
- Job search expenses. Provided you are looking for a new job in your current field, aren’t a first-time job seeker, and haven’t taken a long break from the workforce, you could get money back. You can file transportation costs, resume costs, fees, and if your new job is over 50 miles away from your current home, you can deduct moving expenses. Military personnel who were required to move as part of their service do not have to satisfy any distance or time requirements!
- This isn’t just for big, monetary donations. You can deduct the fair market value of the items you donate, cost of driving you do as a part of volunteer work, and even ingredients for a bake sale! For all donations, make sure you’re keeping receipts or have a bank record.
- Medical Expenses. If your medical bills exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income [AGI] (or 7.5% if you or your spouse is over 65 years of age), you can deduct the costs! If you had to renovate your home to fit a new medical need (like adding a wheelchair ramp), that also counts as a medical expense.
- Homeownership. You may be able to deduct your home mortgage interest, property taxes, and mortgage insurance. If you used a home equity loan, HELOC, or other loans secured through your home, the loans will qualify for the same interest deductions as your main mortgage.
- Natural Disasters & Theft. If you were affected by a natural disaster or are a victim of theft, you might be able to deduct losses related to your home, household items, and vehicles. However, you must subtract whatever you got back from your insurance from the fair market value and it must exceed 10% of your AGI.
- Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC]. It’s widely overlooked, but the EITC is a refundable tax credit to supplement income. The amount returned ranged from $510 – $6,318 in 2017.
- Senior Tax Deduction. If you and your spouse are over 65 years of age at the end of the tax year, you’re eligible for a higher standard deduction!
These, along with your standard tax deduction, could add up to a big return! What will you spend your return on? We recommend saving or investing it — With ACU savings accounts, you can make your money work for you.