April Advice: Tips for Filing Tax Returns

April 1, 2016

Can you believe it’s already April? We’re one step closer to the summer weather we’ve all been craving. But before that, let’s not forget that taxes are due this month, with the Tax Returns Deadline coming up on April 18th.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your tax returns:

1. Charity
Have you gotten involved in your community and made charitable contributions or volunteered in community service? You can deduct costs based on property, mileage and cash. Property: You can deduct donated real estate, furniture, clothing, automobiles, electronic equipment and office supplies. Mileage: If you use your car to assist a nonprofit, you may deduct the portion of mileage that was used. Cash: Cash donations are deductible.

Colorful hands reaching up

2. Professional Expenses
If you’ve purchased equipment out of your own pocket for work and haven’t been reimbursed for those expenses, you can make some deductions on your income taxes to maximize your tax refund. Some examples of qualifiers include the subscription costs of professional publications that keep you updated about how to perform your job, professional dues (such as those paid to be a part of professional organizations or unions), and mobile expenses if you use a personal mobile phone for work. Some other expenses, like travel expenses, may not be deductible. If you have questions, be sure to consult a professional tax accountant.

open book

3. Part-Time Workers
If you are a part-time worker and work two jobs, you can deduct a portion of the costs of getting from one job to the other.

4. Working Parents
Taking care of kids can pile up huge expenses, but did you know you can deduct costs associated with dependent care out of your tax returns? If you are a working parent and you leave your child with a caregiver, you are eligible for a tax credit to cover the cost of a baby sitter, day car, nursery school or preschool.

Family with three childern

Image from Google

5. Making a Move for Work
Have you had to move because you accepted a new job? You can deduct expenses from packing and moving your belongings, and paying for storage, insurance, transportation and lodging associated with the move. There is no limit to the amount you can deduct, but your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your house than your old job.

car halling items

Image from Google

6. Self-Employed
Are you self-employed? If so, you are eligible for a variety of tax deductions other workers aren’t such us part of the cost of utilities, part of the cost of rent for your home office, and the cost of magazines or member organizations you subscribe to in your career field.

man working at desk

7. Disaster Recovery
If your home was struck by a natural disaster and federal aid was issued, you could still be eligible to deduct uninsured costs you paid in getting your life back together.

Volcano, earthquake, and flood natrual disasters

Sources: TurboTax, HowStuffWorks Money
All Images from Google
Contributor: Smruthi Sriram