A:

Whether you file your return yourself, or have it done by a tax professional, you want to make sure you include all your deductible expenses and income on your return. Failure to do so may result in you having to pay more taxes than you should, or file an amended tax return, which means additional associated time and monetary costs.

Make a list and check it twice. If you are not sure whether something should be included, check with a tax professional. Many individuals miss out on claiming eligible deductions because they are unaware that the expense was deductible. For instance, many individuals are unaware that the depreciation for their computers and cellular telephones may be deductible, if they are used for work because it is required by their employer. Depreciation of your computer is also deductible if you use it to produce income - for instance if you are a web designer, freelance writer or research consultant and you use your computer to perform your work. (To learn more about what may be considered a deduction, see The Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction, Tax Deductions For Rental Property Owners, Don't Overlook These Broker Deductions and Deducting Your Donations.)

Seasoned tax preparers are usually aware of what can be deducted, and whether you need additional information in order to maximize your deductions. If you need assistance, be sure to have one of these experts review your list of income and expenses.

For more articles on filing taxes, see Common Tax Questions Answered, Money Saving Year-End Tax Tips and Which is better for tax deductions, itemization or a standard deduction?

By Denise Appleby, CISP, CRC, CRPS, CRSP, APA

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