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Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions

» Introduction
Americans lose loads of cash every year by overlooking perfectly legal tax deductions. Don't let that happen to you - use these tax deductions to get a leg up on the IRS.
» Step 1
Vehicle personal property tax -- If you get a bill every year from your state or local government charging you a tax for owning a vehicle, you may be able to deduct that tax. You can also get the tax deduction if you lease a vehicle and your finance company bills you for the tax.
» Step 2
Valuation of donated goods -- Many people underestimate the thrift store value of household goods they donate to charity. But your donated goods do have value.
» Step 3
Job-hunting expenses - Whether you're working or just between jobs, it pays to save your receipts for job-hunting expenses. Think phone bills, resume advice, and travel expenses, for example. All may all be deductible.
» Step 4
Real estate taxes -- Real estate taxes are deductible. And don't forget taxes you paid indirectly, such as taxes paid through a mortgage escrow account. If you bought a house, check your settlement statement for any taxes for which you reimbursed the seller at the closing. These taxes are deductible, too.
» Step 5
Cost of tax preparation -- Tax software expenses, tax preparation fees, and other tax preparation and filing expenses are all deductible on your tax return as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. Be careful to deduct them on the return for the year in which you paid the costs.
» Step 6
Home Improvements - Disabled and medically impaired Americans may benefit from a deduction in the tax code that enables them to build special equipment or otherwise improve their home to accommodate their situation - even if the improvement increases a home's value.
» Step 7
Student Loans: Take some relief from student loans by deducting interest on student loans regardless of the age of the loan. These days, you are able to deduct interest on loans that are more than five years old.
» Step 8
Self-Employed Individuals - So you run your own home or small business? Great - besides being your own boss you qualify you qualify for the self-employment health insurance deduction. That enables you to deduct part of your health insurance premiums even if you don't itemize.
» Step 9
Deduct Your Home Office

If you turn a portion of your home into an office, you may qualify for the home office deduction. Note that the IRS insists that your home-office area must be used regularly and exclusively for your business needs.

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