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

RELATED FAQS
  1. Which is better for tax deductions, itemization or a standard deduction?

    Each deduction that you claim may result in a decrease in the amount of taxes that you owe. However, whether you receive ... Read Answer >>
  2. How can I make sure I get all my eligible deductions?

    Most tax preparation software does a good job. However, like any recipe, the end results are only as good as what goes into ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some commonly missed deductions for business owners?

    If you own a business, you are eligible to deduct certain business-related expenses. These include deductions for the following: ... Read Answer >>
  4. How is the deductible I paid for my insurance claim treated for tax purposes?

    Find out how your health insurance deductible is treated for tax purposes and under what conditions you may be able to deduct ... Read Answer >>
  5. Can I deduct my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contribution on my tax return?

    Whether you can deduct IRA contributions on your tax return depends on the type of IRA you have, your participation in an ... Read Answer >>
  6. How can I lower my effective tax rate without lowering my income?

    Discover how to reduce your effective tax rate without losing income by maximizing adjustments and deductions, earning tax-free ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Why You Should Itemize Your Tax Deductions

    This strategy of moving your tax deductable payments and donations to the following year could mean hundreds more on your return.
  2. Taxes

    Will Itemized Deductions Get You A Bigger Refund?

    April and taxes are due soon. If you need to file your return, you might have to decide if itemizing your deductions this year will net you a better deal.
  3. Taxes

    7 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

    Don't pay more taxes than you have to because you've missed taking legitimate tax deductions. Here are just a few you may have overlooked.
  4. Home & Auto

    Top Tax Advantages of Buying a Home

    Don't forget these deductions and credits that homeowners can use to reduce their tax bill.
  5. Taxes

    5 Strategies For Lowering Next Year's Taxes

    If your tax bill is bigger than you'd hoped, there are few ways you can reduce it next year.
  6. Taxes

    3 Little-Known Ways to Reduce Your Income Tax

    Looking to pay less income tax? Here are three lesser known ways to do so.
  7. Taxes

    How To Get The Most Out Of Hiring An Accountant

    When you hire an accountant, getting good tax advice going forward is as valuable as – or perhaps even more valuable than - getting the previous year’s taxes filed correctly. Learn what you need ...
  8. Taxes

    Next Season, File Taxes On Your Own

    Master these fundamentals and you'll be doing your own taxes with minimal stress.
  9. Taxes

    Simple Last-Minute Tax Tips

    A little preparation and organization can take the stress out of last-minute tax filing.
  10. Taxes

    Business Taxes: Not Paying More Than You Have To

    If you're a small business owner, note these potential tax deductibles so that you don't pay taxes that could have been extra revenue in your account.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Schedule A

    Schedule A is a U.S. income tax form that is used by taxpayers ...
  2. Tax Deductible Interest

    A borrowing expense that a taxpayer can claim on a federal or ...
  3. Above The Line Deduction

    Above the line deductions are certain types of deductions that ...
  4. Itemized Deduction

    A deduction from a taxpayer's taxable adjusted gross income that ...
  5. Property Tax Deduction

    State and local property taxes that are generally deductible ...
  6. Interest Deduction

    A deduction for taxpayers who pay certain types of interest. ...
Trading Center