• http://www.checkadvantage.com/ Kasey

    Great tips Kira!
    I was wondering if you really could deduct the cost of TurboTax since you’d think the software would let you know that fact when you get to that step.

    Speaking of deductions for breast pumps…did you know you if you’re a stripper you can deduct the cost of a boob job? Strange but true!

    • Kira Botkin

      Well, you need to be able to itemize your deductions in order to get a benefit from that, so it might not come up for many people, but you are able to deduct the cost of the software. I would guess however that the software doesn’t know how much you paid for it!

      As far as boob jobs – I wonder if you have to deduct it in the same way as any other business expense that you also use outside of work, like a car. What percentage of the time was your boob job in use for business purposes vs personal… =)

      • http://blog.checkadvantage.com/ Kasey

        Excellent points!

        Re: TurboTax – I did itemize and it asked me about tax preparation fees – but I guess the software has no idea what level I’ll end up buying in the end.

        Re: Boob jobs – Yes,it would be a shame not be able to take advantage of personal use. :)

  • Steve

    You neglected to mention that there is a threshhold for medical and miscelaneous deductions which most people never meet, which generally renders # 1,2,3,7,11,12,13, and 14 moot

    • Kira Botkin

      It is true that there is a threshold, but the more items you add in, the closer you get to meeting that threshold.

  • John Thompson

    For Tip #14 I think you mean Schedule A Line 23 not 22.

    • Kira Botkin

      Yes, sorry it is indeed line 23. Thanks for catching that!

  • Charlene

    Hi Kira,

    To be able to qualify for the deduction for Medical Expenses wouldn’t you have had to be quite an unlucky sap last year? To have more than $3000 in Medical expenses with an adjusted gross income of just $40,000 had to be a great pity, and not a situation to rejoice over, or be envied, at all. Am I figuring that correctly or am I missing something. I would prefer to be in good health than look forward to this tax deduction.

    Thanks for your helpful tips.

    • Kira Botkin

      Yes, it’s pretty much for catastrophic cases. That is why some people who might qualify will file as married filing separately, so that if the spouse with the medical issues had the lower income (which is likely) they’ll get to take the deduction. It’s not intended to be a deduction everyone takes. However, including everything that counts as a medical expense (like breastfeeding supplies) can help get you over that 7.5% line and then you can deduct the lot of it. Hopefully few of us will be taking this deduction this year, though!

  • Gwen Thomas

    Found one that I did not know about. Thanks!

  • Karen A ureli

    If you are paying medical bills for someone in your family that was without a job, can you add that to your medical bills for a reduction?

  • Kira Botkin

    You can deduct medical bills for someone else if they are a relative who lived with you all year and you paid for at least half of their living expenses. They don’t have to have income under a certain amount as long as you paid at least half of their other expenses other than medical. But if they didn’t live with you or they paid their own way most of the time except this one instance, you can’t deduct it.

  • Andri

    Hi. I went through a divorce last year (initiated in Aug, 2009). I hired my attorney in Feb 2010 and paid a total of $10,750 (so far). Much of what we worked with was pension, support, division of estate, etc.
    Is this entire $10,750 a deduction?
    Thank you for the list! It’s very helpful!

    • elje

      I paid my divorce attorney about $10,000 in 2013 with the money I got from the division of community property. other info is I was a stay at home mom before and since divorce havent found any job yet – meaning I am unemployed. I know its too late now but could I have gotten a tax deduction? Please let me know.
      Also can I still file for it. Your response would be of great help.
      Thanks in advance

  • Kira Botkin

    As far as obtaining support, that would definitely be deductible. You might want to see if your attorney can give you any kind of breakdown as far as how much time he spent on the various monetary benefits he acquired for you. Pension, etc would depend on whether this was something you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten without legal help. Otherwise, I’d say the worst that can happen is that you get audited and have to pay some money back three years later.

  • Andri

    Thanks so much, Kira! My ex is a cop……sadly, not the ethical kind. He had hidden funds, lied about pension contributions, withheld child support and other admiral traits we look for in those entrusted with our safety/security! ;) Heh, I do believe kharma will catch up eventually! ;D

    I’ve got breakdowns of the charges. I’ll go through, but know I’ll need to add up quite a bit in order to exceed the standard deduction.

    I do volunteer work and kept track of mileage. I work from a home office and know I can only utilize the square footage of my office (not sure how to include electricity, internet, etc.).
    I make <$40k and have custody of our son. I suspect the ex will be sneaky again with the IRS and attempt to include some write offs there. So wish I could direct them his way! ;D

    Thanks again!

  • Kira Botkin

    It just so happens we also have an article about the home office deduction: http://www.moneycrashers.com/irs-home-office-tax-deduction-rules-calculator/

    However, the home office deduction isn’t part of your itemized deduction, you can take that if you are showing a profit on your work. And, if you can give any specifics, calling the IRS tip line at 1-800-829-0433 would be a good (anonymous) deed for the rest of us who do things honestly!

  • Andri

    Sorry for the delay. Thank you (again)! I’m now not so sure the home office would apply to my situation. I’ll do some research.
    Anonymous tip line….Sometimes, kharma needs a boost, eh?

  • R.L.

    Hi Kira,

    I am disabled and raising a 12 year old step daughter, my SS disability paper always says I can not file, but have been told different????? Can I file and use the child tax credit? I get just a few dollars over a whopping 12,000 a year, ( another one of them luxuries from being hit head on by a drunk)
    Thank you for your time!

    • Kira Botkin

      Do you mean can you file your taxes? You can always file taxes, but if you only get SSDI, you probably don’t have to because your income is low enough that you are unlikely to actually be paying taxes. The child tax credit is nonrefundable, which means it can only be used to pay down the taxes you owe – and since you probably don’t owe any, you wouldn’t see any benefit. But if you have any other tax credits or deductions you could claim, you might as well try. Call the IRS and ask for the nearest volunteer tax prep center – it’s free for low income filers.

  • Hmsbellerophon74

    Thank you, very valuable.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UBQMZH2R6YP624N7C4P55YTWCE J Edgar

    Good morning, Does this mean I can deduct the 1600 I paid for chapter 7 bankruptcy filling in 2011?

    • Kira Botkin

      You can only deduct legal fees if you paid them in order to get taxable income. So bankruptcy would not apply.

  • silverstreak

    My husband is disabled and I am not working and not receiving benefits of any kind other than $344 per mo. from Michigan Public Schools REtirement. Our total income is about $1900 per mo. We paid no taxes this year. We have $14,000 available to us this coming summer (without penalty). We want to get it out of Mutual Funds and put it someplace that’s secure but available to us if we should need it. We want it to earn interest but we really don’t want to declare it as income if we can keep from it. Can you advise us?

    • Kira Botkin

      Unfortunately this really isn’t my area of expertise, but in general, if you earn interest on something and you get that interest paid to you, it’s almost always going to be reportable as tax income. The best you could probably do is high dividend stocks that classify their dividends as long-term capital gains, so you would get the lower tax rate, but it sounds like you are not going to be happy if the stocks go down in value. But other than putting your money in shady offshore banks, interest is always income.

    • Kira Botkin

      Unfortunately this really isn’t my area of expertise, but in general, if you earn interest on something and you get that interest paid to you, it’s almost always going to be reportable as tax income. The best you could probably do is high dividend stocks that classify their dividends as long-term capital gains, so you would get the lower tax rate, but it sounds like you are not going to be happy if the stocks go down in value. But other than putting your money in shady offshore banks, interest is always income.

  • Sbenson6

    Someone else paid my medical insurance prmiems for 2011. I have heard that I can deduct these premiems as part of my medical expenses because they are considered as gifts to me. Is this true?

    • Kira Botkin

      Yes, that sounds logical. You can deduct medical premiums in a fashion and where the money came from to pay them should not be an issue. However, you aren’t directly deducting them – only the amount that’s above 7.5% of your AGI can be deducted, and then it must be part of an itemized deduction.

  • mom21

    Hi, I live in MO and have been told money spent on my daughter’s school supplies, clothes can be a tax write off. Is that correct?

    • Kira Botkin

      If they are specifically required by the school, yes. That would be things like uniforms, specific textbooks, or fees for participating in a certain class. But normal clothes that aren’t specifically for school or pencils, notebooks, backpacks, etc aren’t deductible.

  • fel

    can yearly rent be dediuucted?

    • Kira Botkin

      Yearly rent of what? If you mean your personal living space, no.

  • Karen

    Hello, I am a school teacher. I volunteer for a lot of the after school functions and I stay after hours to complete paper work. Can I write this off as volunteer time?

  • Brenda Lin

    Surprise no mention of life insurance is on this list.
    Remember – Life insurance premiums are NOT generally deductible on your individual income tax return. But, if u get the right policy, like the $30/month, $1 million benefit one from Life Ant (or some other similar site), the benefits paid to the beneficiaries will be tax free (as long as the policy is transferred before death, and not part of the estate).

    Life insurance FTW!

  • Derrek

    Do I need to keep receipts of EVERYTHING in order to be eligible for deductions?

  • Julie Ann

    I can’t figure out why my 19-year-old son, non-student, under the AGI limit, contributing to an IRA isn’t getting the retirement savings contribution credit with TT. Any ideas?

  • Sarah

    My taxes got taken because I was told I owed money to job and family services just for me to take my paperwork down and they try to give it back. Problem is I can’t figure out where it is at all. It’s just poof and disappear someone anyone help me please.

Back to top
mobile desktop