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 >>
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

    Top Tax Deductions For Brokers

    If you are paying out of pocket, you can make your business expenses work for you at tax time.
  3. Taxes

    The Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

    The receipts you cram into your wallet could be replaced with cash come tax season.
  4. Taxes

    10 Tax Benefits For The Self-Employed

    Running your own business has both personal and financial perks.
  5. Taxes

    An Overview Of Itemized Deductions

    Not taking the standard deduction this year could save you hundreds of dollars.
  6. Retirement

    Top Tax Tips For Retirees

    Filing your taxes during retirement can be just as time consuming as when you were employed. We have some tips to help you out.
  7. Taxes

    5 Overlooked Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

    It's easy for small business owners to miss a few tax write-offs. Here's where to find them.
  8. 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.
  9. Taxes

    Calculating the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

    The amount of money you save by paying your mortgage off quickly will far exceed any benefit from the mortgage interest tax deduction.
  10. Taxes

    10 Money-Saving Year-End Tax Tips

    Getting organized well before the deadline will curb your frustration and your tax liability.
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. Tax Deduction

    A deduction from gross income that arises due to various types ...
  4. Deduction

    Any item or expenditure subtracted from gross income to reduce ...
  5. Deductible

    1. The amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for expenses before ...
  6. Above The Line Deduction

    Above the line deductions are certain types of deductions that ...
Hot Definitions
  1. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  2. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  3. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
  4. Job Market

    A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as ...
  5. Yuppie

    Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, ...
  6. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
Trading Center