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5 Tax Deductions You May Have Missed

While filing taxes is taxing. (pun intended). Trying to get all your records together (hopefully, you’ve kept them), waiting patiently for your 1099 and W-2 forms and trying to remember what deductions you can take.  It’s one of those things that needs to be done.  From personal experience, here’s some you may have forgotten that will possible help your bottom line.

1.  My daughter is in college and because of family circumstances we were able to claim her the year before, but not for 2013.  However, at the time, I was unaware of the American Opportunity Tax Credit that you can take towards college expenses.  Whether you’re taking a full course load or just one class you need to look into this.  You might be able to deduct up to $4,000 for things like tuition, books and supplies.  As with my daughter, this applies to you, a spouse or a dependent.

2.  Here’s one to know or pass along to friends and families live in states that apply.  Some states don’t have a state income tax they can deduct.  So those state residents can take a state and local sales tax deduction.  Remember to keep your receipts to verify your paid purchases.

3.  Every year we bring scads of bags and boxes to Goodwill.  I usually try to get a receipt (you have to ask for it) but sometimes we bring the “goods” on a Sunday and no one is there to write a receipt.   This would fall under your Charity or Donations part of your taxes.   Remember to include any donations you made to any non-profit organizations, BUT, always have a receipt to back up your claim.

4.  We all know that if we win big at the casino we have to claim that on our taxes, but did you know you can claim gambling losses too?  We found that out after my husband won in 2012 and we discussed claiming the win with our tax guy. But, you do have to itemize your deductions.  Obviously, your losses can’t be more than your winnings.  Just to be safe, (and I keep harping on this, but save all receipts or keep a paper trail for documentation).

5.  The final suggestion I learned from reading Lisa Greene-Lewis’ report at Yahoo! news is one I didn’t know but will share with you because many Northlanders have found themselves without a job recently.  Either because they were laid off or because their employer had to close their business.  If you’ve been searching for a job, you may be able to recoup some of your costs for resume’ preparation and sending them out. If you traveled you can deduct those costs too. Or, if you had to pay to use a placement agency.

Info via:  Lisa Greene-Lewis/

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