Interesting Tax Deductions

woman excited about her tax deductions with TaxSlayer

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changing many tax deductions for 2018 and 2019, you might be wondering what you are allowed to deduct.  

Here are a few of the more interesting tax deductions that you can claim. 

Military Moving 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the moving deduction for most Americans in 2018. However, if you are in the military and are required to move, you can deduct any expenses that are not reimbursed by the government. 

Read also: 4 Tips for Filing Taxes on Your Own in the Military

Education Savings 

Education can be expensive. If you contribute to a 529 Savings Plan, you can withdraw up to $10,000 per child per year. You must use the money to pay for school expenses for grades K-12. You will not pay federal tax on these withdrawals. 

Read also: What is the Better College Savings Plan: The 529 or the Roth IRA? 

Parent Student Loan Interest 

You probably know that if you pay interest on your student loan, you qualify for a tax deduction for that interest. But did you know that if your parents pay your loans and don’t claim you as a dependent, you can write off the interest they paid on your tax return? That’s an easy deduction if they let you. 

Health Savings Account Contribution 

You can contribute to an HSA account pre-tax so you won’t pay tax on this percent of your income. Deduct it on your 1040. If you withdraw money from the account to pay for a qualified medical expense, the withdrawal will also not be taxed. 

Service Animals 

Service animals are approved medical expenses and their associated expenses can be written off on a Schedule A. Learn more.  

Other Animal write-offs include: 

  • Guard dog 
  • Pest control cat 

Summer Camps 

If both parents work full-time over the summer, you may be able to deduct summer camp or childcare expenses. The child must be under 13 years old and the provider can’t be your spouse, dependents, or the child’s parent. 

Natural Disasters 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows for federally declared disasters to be written off on your tax return. Make sure your tax records are within the designated area. Then keep track of any damage your property acquires during the disaster to write it off on your taxes. 

See if your disaster is covered here. 

Energy Upgrades 

If you install a source of solar renewable energy in your home, you can claim the Residential Renewable Energy Credit. 

Unusual Medical Expenses 

Aside from service animals, there are some other unique medical expenses you can write off. 

  • Weight loss – If your doctor recommended a weight loss program, like Jenny Craig, WW, or Nutrisystem, you can write off these expenses on your tax return. 
  • Swimming Pool – If your doctor recommended you swim regularly for treatment or your health in general, and you install a pool on your property, you can write off the expense on your return. 
  • Smoking – You can deduct expenses related to cessation programs and prescription medication if you are trying to quit smoking 

Jury Pay 

If your employer paid your full salary while you were on jury duty, they might ask you to give your jury fees to them in return. However, the IRS requires you to report your jury fees as taxable income. Don’t worry – the IRS lets you deduct the amount on your tax return. 

State Tax 

If you owed taxes on your state return last year, include it on your return this year under state and local taxes. 

 

If any of these piqued your interest, file with TaxSlayer to use the Deduction Finder to see what you qualify for. 

Learn more about various deductions via the TaxSlayer Knowledge Base

For more information on overlooked deductions, read this article. 

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