What Are the Most Commonly Missed Tax Deductions?

Every April, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and other self starters anticipate that dreaded day of filling out those familiar W-2 and 1099 workbooks. While some look forward to receiving a refund, many lack the necessary education to help them maximize their tax earnings. The following are some tax deductions that are commonly overlooked by all types of taxpayers.

Whether owning a small business or large company, keeping tight records of all business transactions is the key to a worry-free tax season. This includes keeping track of all receipts related to the business. Lunch expenses can be an acceptable write-off if it is purchased as it relates to business. If using a car to carry out business related tasks, then expenses used for the car can be deducted at the end of the year. This includes gas mileage and any other necessities to keep the car in good condition while conducting business. Oil and tire changes, tune-ups, and any other cost related to car maintenance are examples of deductions that suit independent contractor delivery jobs or sales jobs that require a great deal of independent travel.

Materials that are needed to produce sellable goods can also be deducted. This benefits artists and craftsmen who make their living selling their art and crafts. For example, if an artist sells their work for $200 and their materials needed to produce it costs $40, then the artist can write that off come tax time as long as he or she keeps all of their receipts. These are all considered business expenses that ideally should not cut into the entrepreneur’s individual profit margin.

If a business needed to close down and thus resulted in a loss of income, then the business owner can report that as a loss on their tax forms. Each individual taxpayer needs to pay attention to what amount of profit loss constitutes a “loss” because each state may have different laws regarding these specifics.

Other forms of deductions that often go unnoticed are sometimes not so obvious. Most people may not know that charitable contributions made to organizations can also be deducted. This may include foundations such as Muscular Dystrophy or non-profit agencies.

Many homeowners reap the benefits of paying those monthly mortgage payments around tax season, but renters may not know that they might benefit as well. As long as he or she is the head of household and it’s their primary residence, some states will allow them to deduct rent from their taxable income. When filing Federal tax returns, the residence must be used for a business purpose in order to qualify for deductions.

Whether a business owner or average Joe trying to make an honest living, tax deductions are not always the most obvious. By identifying commonly overlooked deductions, taxpayers can now be a little more cautious this tax season. Hopefully, this article is helpful in helping the average taxpayer determine what an appropriate deduction is and which is applicable in their individual situation.

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