Businesses and Corporations aren't the only ones who can have write-offs and deductibles. As a tax-paying citizen, you can too! Do you know all of the common and most important write-offs for you and your family? Don't worry - this will explain them all!
You might think it crazy that some people look forward to doing their taxes every year. But really, they're letting you in on a really important secret. Taxes DON'T have to be as painful as they have been played off to be. What have taxes done to you? I mean - besides taking your hard earned money every April 15th. But maybe think about it from another angle - what can doing your taxes give back to you? Just two magic words: itemized deductions. That is the golden ticket. But are you keeping track of all of your expenses and are you writing off everything that you can? It's so easy to overlook some of the most common and lucrative tax deductions. So we are here to shine a light on all of them - so maybe next tax season, you can save a couple extra of those hard earned dollars.
Tax season is still nine months away, but we always recommend staying on top of your expenses, keeping track of all your important paperwork, and staying organized. There are TONS of amazing apps and programs that can help you do that. You just need to find the right one that works for you. It's so easy now to go paperless too - if you aren't totally paperless yet, maybe look into that. It'll cut down on the number of pieces of paper you have to keep your eyes on. And might open up a drawer or two in your desk. Always make the most out of any available tax deductions and exemptions. Each one that you claim gets subtracted from your gross income so your actual taxable income is automatically lowered.
First, I want to address those who work from home. This does span between the world of business tax and personal tax and can sometimes be a grey area. But be just as dedicated in keeping track of all of your work records and receipts as you would your own personal papers. You can write off your home workspace, no matter the size. Even if it's just a small corner of the kitchen or your den. But this dedicated space can ONLY ever be used for work purposes. The tip on knowing how much to write off is this: measure the workspace and divide it by the square footage of your home. The percentage you come up with is the amount of housing payment and utility that you can deduct every year. You can also write off other business expenses such as paper, pens, computers, and other commonly used goods and services. But again, similarly to your workspace, you can only use these dedicated items for your business. This also includes your phone lines. You can only write off the percentage of your cellphone bill of how much time you're using it for business. If you still have a landline (kudos to you!) you cannot write it off unless you have two landlines. The IRS doesn't recognize your first landline as a deductible, but it will recognize your second landline as a deductible. That way they know your first line is used for anything but business, while the other is used only for business.
If you don't own your own business and work from home - don't worry. There are still plenty of other write-offs for you and your family. Of course, tax law and tax code do change every year. So if you personally do your taxes yourself and use a program like Quickbooks or have your accountant do your taxes every year - always make sure you're up to date on any changes to any tax law. Most big changes will quickly be made into very public knowledge - what else do we love to talk about more than changes that will affect our income? But always double-check! Your next step is to decide how you're going to file. There are four common deduction categories, but there are more. Make sure you look into all of them before you file. But if you're filing as a single person the total number of deductions is $12,000. If you married and filing jointly or you're a qualified widow(er) with a dependent child the standard deduction is $24,000. If you're filing as the Head of Household, the standard deduction is $18,000.
To receive your deductions, itemizing all of them might help you save some more money. But you still might have to do a little extra math. So keep your calculator close. If your itemized deductions add up to more than your standard deduction - you will end up saving money on your taxes by taking the extra steps to itemize your deductions!
COMMON ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS! (Don't overlook these gems!)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.