Nine crucial tax deductions you don’t want to miss

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

Filing your taxes can be frustrating and time consuming. But don’t rush through your return too quickly.
According to the website “Moneytips” you should consider these commonly overlooked tax deductions.
1. Charitable
Contributions – Any gift to a qualifying charitable organization can be deducted. The IRS website has an online search tool to verify qualified status of any organization, but the receiving organization should be able to provide you with proof. You may deduct donations worth up to 50% of your income. Make sure that you have written receipts for any contributions.
2. Retirement Plan Contributions – Contributions to traditional IRAs and Simplified Employee Pension plans (SEPs may be deductible. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible because they are made with after-tax dollars. You still make contributions up to the tax filing date and apply them to the previous tax year as long as your total contributions are below the annual limits.
3. Mortgage
Interest and Points – The annual interest on your mortgage is deductible, along with any points paid on a new home to lower your interest rate. Generally, deductions for points must be spread out over the life of a loan, but there are a few exceptions that allow total deduction in the year of purchase.
4. State and Local Taxes – Various state and local taxes paid in 2017 can be deducted, either as income
taxes or sales taxes paid (but not both). Generally, state income tax is higher, but not all states have an income tax.
5. Personal Property Taxes – You can deduct any personal property taxes that are paid on items such as automobiles or boats as long as the taxes are imposed annually and based on the value of the asset.
6. Job Search Expenses – Some job-hunting costs can be deducted if you are looking for a job within your occupation. Things like transportation costs with associated food and hotel bills, resume printing costs, and employment agency fees are deductible.
7. Moving
Expenses – If you get that new job, you can deduct moving expenses as long as your new job is at least fifty miles farther from your home. This deduction is especially valuable since it is an "above-the- line deduction" that directly lowers your AGI. You can take the deduction whether or not you itemize.
8. Medical and Dental Expenses – Any unreimbursed medical and dental expenses over 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income may be deducted. For example, with an AGI of $50,000, you can deduct the portion of your medical expenses that exceeds $3,750.
9. Self-Employment Expenses – If you work for yourself, you can deduct 50% of your payroll taxes essentially the employer portion of your taxes. In certain cases, you may also deduct retirement contributions and health insurance expenses, as well as some household expenses if you have a home office.

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