Find overlooked tax breaks

Come mid-April, late-filing taxpayers across the country are looking for ways to lower their tax bills or increase their tax refunds. Perhaps the most effective way to do just that is to take advantage of the numerous potential tax deductions available.

Though tax laws change each year and it’s always best to consult with a tax professional before making a questionable deduction, the following are a few oft-overlooked deductions that might trim your tax bill and keep your money in your pocket and out of the coffers of the Internal Revenue Service.

• Charitable items: Many taxpayers are fully aware they can deduct donated vehicles or monetary gifts to charities, but there are other items related to charitable efforts that might be deducted as well. The cost of supplies you purchase for use in charitable endeavors or uniforms purchased that you wear while doing charitable work can typically be considered charitable donations, making them worthy of a tax deduction.

• Costs related to job hunting: Men and women who are currently employed but looking for work within their fields might be able to deduct the costs associated with their job hunt, including resume design and printing and employment agency fees. These costs typically must exceed a percentage of your adjusted gross income before they can be deducted, so look into the law and examine your expenses to see if you qualify.

• Moving costs: Relocating for a new job? Then chances are you can write off many of your moving expenses. New college grads may also be eligible to write off some of their moving expenses if they are relocating for their first job out of college.

• Educational expenses: Men and women who want to further their education might be eligible to earn tax breaks because of that ambition. The tuition and fees deduction allows you to take up to a certain amount off your taxable income without even itemizing. Other credits, including the American opportunity tax credit, are available as well. Visit the IRS Web site ( or discuss your situation with a professional tax preparer to determine your eligibility.

• Home improvements: Some home improvements might still be eligible for tax credits thanks to a provision in the 2013 tax bill. Residential energy upgrades to energy-efficient products might not be worth as large a deduction as they were in the past, but they can still help homeowners trim a little off of their tax bills.

When filing late, many taxpayers overlook tax credits that can save them a good deal of money. This year, filers can be sure to get every break they deserve. ~ Metro Creative Services

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