Background Overlay

Blog

Deductions You May Not Be Taking Advantage Of On Your Individual Tax Return

Personal and pivotal perspectives on timely topics, written by our professionals.

By Kristen Daunt

As I started my career as a tax accountant and began working on individual tax returns, I learned about multiple deductions individuals can take advantage of on their individual income tax returns.  I couldn’t help but think there are many items individuals pay for throughout the year that they may not realize they can actually take a deduction for on their federal individual income tax return.  Here are just a few:

1) Sales Tax.  If you itemize your deductions, you have the option of deducting either the state and local income taxes or the state and local general sales taxes paid.  If you live in a state with no income tax or if you made a large purchase during the year, such as a car or engagement ring, it may be more advantageous to deduct your sales taxes.

2) Charitable Gifts.  While most people are aware that there’s a deduction for charitable contributions, many may not be taking full advantage of this deduction.  Individuals can deduct out-of-pocket expenses for charitable work.  It’s always helpful to save receipts for all expenses.

3) Volunteer Expenses.  Although you can’t take a deduction for your time volunteered, you may be able to take advantage of other deductions related to volunteer activities, such as mileage and travel costs.  You can deduct the cost of getting to and from the location you volunteer at when using your vehicle or use the IRS standard mileage rate (currently $0.14) for charitable organizations.

4) Babysitting Fees.  You may be able to deduct child care expenses paid while you work or look for work, provided you meet certain criteria.  This can include fees paid to a babysitter or the cost of daycare.  It’s always important to retain documentation of payments.

5) Job Search Expenses.  While it’s upsetting to lose a job, and stressful to find a new one, you may be able to deduct some of your job search expenses.  The mileage put on your car driving to and from interviews and the cost of recruiters may add up so it might be worth looking into the deduction, as long as you’re searching for a job in the same line of work as that of your most recent job.

6) Moving Expenses.  If you’re moving more than 50 miles away for a new job, you may be able to deduct some of the costs of getting yourself and your belongings there.  You can take advantage of this deduction even if you don’t itemize, so it’s definitely something to keep in mind should you find yourself in this situation.

7) Teaching Expenses.  Most teachers end up delving into their own pockets for classroom supplies throughout the year.  If you’re a qualified kindergarten – 12th grade teacher, you can deduct up to $250 for materials, even if you don’t itemize your deductions.  Every bit helps!

8) Student Loan Interest.  You may qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest paid by you, or even paid by your parents, in some instances.  This is another deduction you can take advantage of even if you don’t itemize your deductions.

9) Jury Pay Handed To Employer.  We’re generally all called upon to serve our civic duty at some point.  If you’re lucky enough that your employer continues to pay your usual salary while doing so, your employer will often have you turn over your jury fees to them.  That being the case, you’re still obligated to report those jury fees as taxable income on your individual income tax return.  To avoid being taxed on the jury pay you didn’t actually keep, you’re able to deduct the amount that simply passed through your hands.

These are just a few of the many deductions you may be able to take advantage of on your federal individual tax return.  They’re helpful to keep in mind throughout the year and may be worth bringing up to your tax return preparer. 

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE CAREFULLY. THIS IS A LEGAL CONTRACT.

Acceptance of Terms of Use

The Untracht Early LLC (UE) client portal is offered to you on the condition of your acceptance of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein. By using the portal you agree to these terms and conditions. If you are not a client or authorized employee of UE, any use by you of the portal is prohibited.

Description of Service

The portal provides UE’s clients with access to information displayed on the portal for inquiries and deliveries of documents and communications for their account only. The information, documents and communications on the portal are provided as a convenient resource to clients, their attorneys, agents and other designated representatives (collectively, “Agents”) and may be used for informational purposes only for their account. To the extent you wish to authorize any Agents to access your account, you must sign and return the form of Authorization set forth below.

User Password and Security

Using the portal and its related services requires the use of a password and a user name. The confidentiality of your password and account is your responsibility. Any activities that occur under your account either by you or your Agents are your responsibility. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security. It is prohibited to use anyone else’s account without the express permission of that account holder.

Accuracy of Content and Liability Disclaimer

UE will strive to use reasonable efforts to include accurate and updated information on the portal; HOWEVER, YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT UE IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO DO SO AND NEITHER UE NOR ITS SUPPLIERS, AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY ABOUT THE SUSTAINABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS CONTAINED ON THE PORTAL FOR ANY PURPOSE TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. ALL SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. UE, AND ITS SUPPLIERS, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.

TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL UE, OR ITS SUPPLIERS, AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES BE LIABILE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR OR YOUR AGENTS’ USE OR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PORTAL, WITH THE DELAY OR INABILITY TO USE THE PORTAL OR RELATED SERVICES, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF UE OR ITS SUPPLIERS, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES. CERTAIN STATES DO NOT PERMIT TYPES OF THESE LIMITATIONS, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF THE PORTAL INFORMATION, DOCUMENTS OR COMMUNICATIONS ON THE PORTAL, OR WITH ANY OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO CEASE USING THE PORTAL AND THE INFORMATION, DOCUMENTS OR COMMUNICATIONS YOU OBTAINED FROM THE PORTAL.

Icons, Logos and Other Proprietary Material

The trademarks, logos, and service marks (collectively the “Trademarks”) displayed on the portal are registered and common law trademarks of this firm. Nothing contained on the portal should be construed as granting, by implication, or otherwise, any license or right to use any of the Trademarks displayed on the portal without the written permission of this firm. Your use of any of the Trademarks displayed on the portal or displayed on any content on the portal is strictly prohibited. You should assume that everything you see or read on the portal is copyrighted and is a trade secret and may not be used except as provided in these terms and conditions of use or in the text on the portal without the written permission of this firm or its suppliers.

Changes to Terms and Conditions of Use

UE may at any time modify the terms, conditions and notices under which the portal is offered by updating this posting. You are bound to any such modifications and should therefore periodically visit this page to review the then-current terms and conditions to which you are bound.

Confidentiality, Information Protection, and Protection Data

Notwithstanding any existing legal or contractual obligations regarding confidentiality between you and UE, you undertake to treat all knowledge relating to business secrets, which come into your possession, as confidential. You shall assure that any protected data, which comes into your possession through the use of the portal, is not transmitted to any unauthorized person. In partial consideration of the opportunity to access the resources of the portal concerning your account, you agree to maintain the strict confidentiality of access of the portal and its data to you and your authorized Agents and to indemnify and hold harmless UE and its officers, shareholders and employees and their heirs, successors and assigns from and against any and all claims, actions, demands, losses, damages, judgments, costs and expenses, including without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and liabilities of every kind which may arise from your or your employees’ or agents’ use of the portal or because of violation of these terms and conditions of use.

No Unlawful or Prohibited Use

You are prohibited from using the portal to damage, disable, or overburden UE’s servers or network or impair the portal or interfere with any other party’s use of the portal. Hacking, password mining or any other means to gain unauthorized access to the portal, portal accounts, computers or network is prohibited. Posting or transmitting any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic, or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to a civil liability, or otherwise violate any law is also prohibited. UE will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing this firm to disclose the identity of anyone posting any such information and materials. This firm is an equal opportunity employer and values the diversity of its people.

RELEASE AND INDEMNITY. IN AGREEING TO USE, AND BY USING, THE UNTRACHT EARLY PORTAL, YOU ALSO AGREE TO, AND HEREBY DO, RELEASE AND DISCHARGE UNTRACHT EARLY FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OF EVERY NATURE AND DESCRIPTION ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THE POSTING OF INFORMATION ON THE PORTAL, YOUR OR YOUR AGENTS’ USE OF THE PORTAL, AND/OR ANY BREACH OF SECURITY INVOLVING THE PORTAL. YOU HEREBY AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND DEFEND UNTRACHT EARLY, ITS AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND EMPLOYEES AGAINST ANY CLAIMS, DEMANDS, LAWSUITS AND OTHER PROCEEDINGS MADE ABOUT YOU, MADE BY THOSE IN PRIVITY WITH YOU OR MADE BY THOSE ACTING IN CONCERT WITH YOU, IN ANY WAY, WITH REFERENCE TO YOU OR YOUR INFORMATION OR BY ANY THIRD PARTIES ON YOUR BEHALF (INCLUDING AGENTS) RELATING IN ANY WAY TO THE UNTRACHT EARLY PORTAL.