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Affluent Investor | April 30, 2017

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Don’t Want to Worry About Deductions? Remember These 3 Things

(Photo by Ken Teegardin) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped)

(Photo by Ken Teegardin) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped)

Are you a tax-filing procrastinator? This year you’ve got 3 extra days!

With tax season upon us, here are some more tips for filing honestly and accurately, while getting the most out of your deductions.

Itemizing may take more time, but it saves you money. Turbo Tax offers the following helpful tips for maximizing possible deductions for travel, moving, and charitable donations.

  • Keep good travel records. This will help you reach the needed minimum percentage of adjusted gross income for miscellaneous deductions. Keep a trip log for your volunteer work, job-hunting, and doctor’s appointments. Save all parking, toll, bus, or taxi receipts to support your claim. A record of the miles you drove lets you write off the cost of using your car through the standard mileage rate.
  • Keep giving. Dollars spent doing charity work and the market value of donated clothing or household items are deductible. When you bake for a fundraiser, the cost of your ingredients can be deducted, but not the value of the time you spent baking. Keep all receipts from qualified charities for cash or asset donations that you make, as well as an itemized list of the non-cash donations. It’s Deductible is a free app from TurboTax that tracks your donations, estimates the values of your donated items, and reduces your risk of an audit.
  • Keep all receipts related to moving for a new job 50 miles or more, whether you itemize or not. Everything from moving, storage, and travel expenses related to your relocation may be deducted.

As you are filing, beware of tax scams through phone calls, text messages or emails. The IRS has a page devoted to the problem.

 

Originally published on Handwriting on the Wall.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown, a non-profit business and personal finance policy and educational organization, and author of “The S.A.L.T. Plan. How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions” and “Root of Riches, What if everything you think about money is wrong?”

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