Deductions You May Have Missed!

April 7, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

It’s estimated that 95% of Workers and their families will get a tax break on their 2011 taxes…will you be among them? All it takes is a little work. And you can really benefit if you take the time to look carefully for some ‘hidden’ deductions – things you may not have thought about yet. Remember, every eligible tax deduction or credit will increase your tax refund or reduce the taxes that you owe. Cha Ching! Your work just paid off…

We recently talked about Education Tax Credits and Medical and Dental Expenses. But if you see yourself in some of the categories listed below, other deductions can be yours…

Family and Home:

Did you pay more than 50 percent of your parent’s financial support and medical expenses? If those expenses exceeded 7.5% of your AGI, you may qualify for a tidy deduction.

Did you buy a house? Check to see if you can deduct mortgage origination fees or discount points that you paid. Other things to check are the costs associated with selling your home, such as the real estate commission you paid, legal fees and closing costs.

What about your car – did you buy a new one in 2011? Depending on your income and filing status, you may be able to deduct the sales tax on the purchase.

For your community:

Did you do volunteer work in 2011? Look into the mileage allowance for your charity-related travel, childcare expenses while volunteering, and possible expenses you had as a result mentoring (if you used your own funds to pay for meals or event tickets, etc).

Business and Education:

Are you a small-business owner, or self-employed? Be sure to collect your receipts for taking clients out: a percentage of the costs of entertainment and meals can be deducted. (Hint – keep the categories separate, as the percentages are different for each!)

Did you travel for business and have to pay those annoying baggage fees so you could bring your business supplies or materials? Check out deducting those amounts.

Are you itemizing your deductions? Be sure to think about some miscellaneous items in your professional life, such as subscriptions to publications, or dues to associations. And here’s something to think about: did you pay fees for investment advisory, safety deposit box, or tax-preparation?

Did you sit on a jury last year? You may be able to deduct the jury pay from your taxes, if you were still being paid from your regular job.

These are just a few of the things you can take a look at as you get your tax information together. But remember, the tax laws change, and you have to keep up with the tax law to know what deductions are available. Be sure that you are eligible for all the deductions you are taking – you don’t want to have to pay them back in a future audit!

For more information on tax law help, visit:

Martha Miller, Attorney at Law is admitted to the Bars of New York, Connecticut and the US Tax Court. She is a 1967 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago Illinois.
Martha has been in the tax field since 1972, at first working for H & R Block in New York, preparing taxes, teaching tax preparers, representing clients at audits and managing an office for the company. Her experience on the front lines of tax work allowed her to learn the field from the ground up.
Martha is also the author of What Every Woman Needs to Know about the Law (Doubleday 1980) and numerous articles on legal matters. For more Information visit

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