7 On Your Side

7 tax deductions that you might have missed

Friday, April 13, 2012

If you haven't filed already the deadline for filing your taxes is Tuesday, but don't be so in a rush you have "refund regret". Every year millions of taxpayers overlook some common write-offs which could save you thousands.

It's like "found money" that's already there. Your funds, which could stay in your pocket if you remember you could be eligible for some big tax credits. So here's 7 of the most forgotten write-offs starting with your home.

1. If you did something to make your home more energy efficient last year, that's a write-off! If you've gone solar in 2011, a solar heating or solar cooling system, you could get a 30 percent credit up to maximum amount of the full value of the cost. Even smaller projects to make your house more energy efficient will earn you a credit - up to 10 percent of the cost is deductible if you installed new energy efficient windows or lighting - purchased energy star appliances, or equipped your home with more efficient heating and cooling systems.

2. Refinancing points. If you refinanced and paid for points - that's another deduction potentially worth thousands. Many people this year have refinanced their mortgages because rates are at an all time low. The points that you are deducting every year on that old mortgage are fully deductable.

3. Net investment losses. Financial Planner Alan Kahn says you can deduct up to $3000 from your ordinary incomes, so you want to make sure that your previous losses that you were not able to deduct your carrying forward.

4. Charitable donations. If you've given any donations to a charity, you can write off cash and goods that you've donated. Just make sure you have a receipt.

5. Higher education expenses. See if you qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit, you may be in eligible for an above-the-line deduction of as much as $4,000.

6. College Savings Plans. If you're starting to save for baby's college now, whatever you put away in a 529 can be written off too, up to $500 per person.

7. Health insurance premiums.

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taxes, tax refund, 7 on your side, nina pineda
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