Understanding deductions and other tax breaks

Taxes: General Deductions



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Business and Pleasure Travel Write-Offs

Bankrate

You really need a break, but it's been a tough year for your business and you're not comfortable spending money on vacation travel. Let Uncle Sam help pay for your business trip. When you tack on personal vacation days to the beginning or end of a business trip, your out-of-pocket costs could be minimal since much of the business portion of your travel could be tax deductible.

Deduct cost of transporting car as a moving expense?

Bankrate

You can pay a friend to drive your car and deduct the cost if you meet certain tests. If you meet the "distance and time test," then you can deduct the reasonable expenses of paying someone to drive your car.

Can you deduct your moving expenses?

Bankrate

Job-related moving expenses are tax-deductible as an adjustment to gross income. This means that they will provide a tax benefit even if you don't itemize your deductions. To be deductible you have to meet certain IRS tests.

Taking advantage of miscellaneous deductions

Bankrate

Every tax season, frantic filers search for ways to reduce the checks they must write to Uncle Sam. A proven tax strategy is deducting as much as possible. These catch-all expenses offer another way to cut your tax bill, but only if you have enough of them.

Nice try, but don't you dare deduct these expenses!

Bankrate

Every tax-filing season, the great quest by filers is to find the most tax deductions. But there are some deductions you should steer clear of. If you claim these wrong write-offs, you'll deduct expenses that don't meet Internal Revenue Service guidelines. We've put together this list of expenses you might be tempted to claim.

Does new roof qualify for energy tax credit?

Bankrate

"I would like to take a tax credit for buying and installing Energy Star-rated roofing shingles. Is there a separate form I need to file with my tax return? How do I go about claiming an energy tax credit for a new roof?"

Are Homebuilding Labor Costs Tax-Deductible?

Bankrate

Building a new home? Are contract labor costs tax-deductible? The answer is "NO." You cannot deduct payments made for contractor labor costs or any other expenses that arise in the construction of your new home in the current year. However, it is still important for you to keep track of these financial outlays for the future.

Deducting Job-Hunting Expenses

Bankrate

These days a lot of Americans find themselves pounding the pavement in quest of a new job, whether they've gotten the pink slip or expect to get one soon. The good news: The search may help you cut your tax bill -- under certain circumstances, job-hunting expenses are tax-deductible.

Be Cautious of these 6 Popular Tax Breaks

Bankrate

Sometimes, great-sounding tax breaks aren't always as advertised. In the never-ending quest to lower Internal Revenue Service bills, taxpayers grab for every tax deduction, tax credit and tax-saving move they hear or read about. That's generally a good idea. These moves can cut your tax bill, but you have to read the fine print to make sure you qualify.

Miscellaneous Tax Deductions

Bankrate

Every tax season, frantic filers search for ways to reduce the checks they must write to Uncle Sam. A proven tax strategy is deducting as much as possible. But sometimes, technically deductible expenses are wasted because they don't meet other Internal Revenue Service rules. This is often the case for most of the miscellaneous deductions found on Schedule A.

10 Overlooked Tax Breaks

Bankrate

The goal of every taxpayer is to make sure the Internal Revenue Service gets as little as possible. For that to happen, you need to take every tax deduction, credit or other income adjustment you can. Here are 10 tax breaks. Some for itemizers only, others that any filer can claim that often get overlooked but could save you some tax dollars.

Don't You Dare Deduct These Expenses!

Bankrate

Every tax-filing season, the great quest by filers is to find the most tax deductions. But there are some deductions you should steer clear of. If you claim these wrong write-offs, you'll deduct expenses that don't meet Internal Revenue Service guidelines. Bankrate has put together this list of expenses you might be tempted to claim. Don't you dare!

Special Deduction Amounts for Tax Payers 65 and Older

Bankrate

Some older taxpayers may be able to cut their tax bills with very little work. All they have to do is check a couple of boxes on their tax returns.

Bunching Itemized Deductions

Bankrate

You always seem to have a lot of expenses that you think could help cut your tax bill if you itemized. But every year, they go to waste. Get around this tax-reduction roadblock by bunching your expenses. It maybe too late to help cut your current tax bill, but by setting up this strategy now, you can ensure that your "nearly" deductible expenses become full-fledged tax breaks next filing season.

The IRS Can Help in Disastrous Times

Bankrate

There's no way to plan for a disaster. But there is recovery help from an unexpected source: the Internal Revenue Service. In most instances, you can count unforeseen casualty losses as itemized deductions. Of course, you have to fill out extra paperwork and keep good records.

Home Sweet Homeowner Tax Breaks

Bankrate

Congratulations, you've just taken another step up the American-dream ladder and are a homeowner. Along with the joy of painting, plumbing and yard work, you now have some new tax considerations. The good news is you can deduct many home-related expenses. The bad news is, to take full tax advantage of your home, your taxes will likely get more complicated. In most cases, homeowners itemize.

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