Whether you run a big corporation, a small start-up, or a busy household, your main tax concern is likely minimizing the amount you have to pay and maximizing the return you receive at the end of the year. One of the best ways to accomplish this is enlisting the services of a Certified Tax Professional, who can clue you into potential tax benefits. Below are just some of the breaks that are often overlooked by those who file their own returns:
- Medical expenses: If your annual medical bills add up to over 7.5% of your income, they can be written off as a tax deduction. While you can’t count portions that were paid by an insurance policy, any non-covered costs are eligible, including associated expenses like insurance premiums and mileage to and from a treatment facility.
- Property taxes: As of 2008, married couples filing jointly can enter a standard deduction of up to $1,000 for real estate taxes, and single homeowners can deduct up to $500—even if they don’t have enough deductions to file an itemized return on a Schedule A.
- Moving costs: It’s one of the most stressful ordeals a family can go through, but at least you can reap a tax benefit if the move was related to a job transfer. Your CPA can identify which moving costs are eligible to serve as deductions, such as mileage, truck rental, and storage fees.
- Child care: You’ve already resigned yourself to this inevitable expense—but did you know that any child care, preschool, or even summer day camp fees qualify as tax credits if your children attend during your work hours?
- Working from home: Even if you don’t feel comfortable writing off the corner of the bedroom as home office space, you can deduct any purchases you make that support the work you do at home, such as a laptop, planner, pens and notebooks, business cards, and possibly even Internet access.
- Job hunting: With rampant layoffs and longer periods of unemployment, this oft-overlooked tax break can mean considerable savings for workers who are seeking a new position within the same field. Keep track of printing costs, travel expenses, recruiters’ agency fees, and any expenses related to your job hunt.
When you work with a CPA, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a fresh (and highly trained) pair of eyes to evaluate your financial situation. After all, wouldn’t you rather be focusing on your business or family than crunching numbers? Let a professional chase down hidden tax deductions, saving you valuable time and money.