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How to Get More of Your Money Back: Overlooked Tax Deductions, Bigger Returns

Updated on August 23, 2019

Overlooked Tax Deductions Cost You Money

Overlooked tax deductions can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your tax refund.
Overlooked tax deductions can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your tax refund.

Are You Paying Too Much on Your Tax Return?


More money could be coming your way in the form of a larger tax refund if you don't pass up some of the most overlooked tax deductions. It's easy to fill out the 1040EZ and just forget about all the hassle of filling out that long form. But if you do that, you're likely missing out on some pretty serious cash back on your tax refund this year.

Here's a serious number for you - about 48 million Americans itemize on the 1040 tax form and claim more than $1,000,000,000,000 - that's one trillion dollars - every year. There is a lot of room for mistakes with that many people filing and itemizing deductions. Some of the more serious mistakes in overlooking deductions can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Here are some of the most commonly overlooked tax deductions.

First-time Homebuyer Credit - $8,000

That's right - $8,000. Do not miss out on this tax credit. If you are a first-time home buyer who closed a home sale by April 30, 2010, or got a contract to buy a home by that same date and closed on the contract by September 30, 2010, you qualify for this huge tax credit. Those who have owned a home for 5 of the 8 years before buying a new home qualify for a big $6,500 tax credit. There are a lot of limitations and rules for this overlooked tax deduction so be sure and check with your tax professional for more details.

Interest Paid by Parents on Student Loans - $2,500

As a rule, interest on student loans is deductible only if you are legally bound to repay this debt. However, the IRS considers money paid by parents toward repayment of a student loan to be money given to the child, who then takes that money and puts it into repaying the loan. If you are a child who is not claimed as a dependent on your parents tax return, you may qualify to deduct as much as $2500 of the loan interest that was paid by your parents. The parents do not get this deduction because they are not liable for the student loan payments.

Costs of Looking for a Job are Deductible

This is a big one this year because so many people have looked for a job in the past year. Just to be clear, we're talking about expenses incurred looking for another job - not your first job. First, keep track of all your job-hunting expenses including food, hotels, transportation, cab fares, air fares, employment agency fees, printing business cards, resumes, even postage and advertising. All of these are overlooked tax deductions that can be costing you big.

Moving expenses are also deductible for your first job or your next job. The best thing about this tax deduction is you don't even have to itemize. Your new job has to be more than 50 miles from your home. This most overlooked tax deduction includes expenses and costs to get you and your household to another location. It even allows 16.5 cents per mile for driving your own car along with the move. Tolls and parking fees along the way are also deductible.

Don't Miss Out on the Childcare Credit

Sometimes this one gets overlooked, especially if your employer is paying or reimbursing you for your childcare costs. If you have two or more kids in childcare, up to $6,000 can qualify for this tax credit. Tax credits are even better than deductions because they will reduce your overall tax bill by crediting you for every dollar you spend. This one overlooked tax deduction can add hundreds to your tax refund.

Be sure and contact your CPA or professional tax preparer for the specific details regarding deductions. There are many other overlooked tax deductions like charitable contributions, state sales tax, reinvested dividends, health insurance deductions, estate taxes, jury duty, energy saving credits, and more.


Overlooked Tax Deductions: How to Get Your Refund Check Faster

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    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Thanls for the comments, SB

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for your comment. Glad it was a help for you. M

    • azure_sky profile image

      azure_sky 

      10 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Great hub!! I will be looking to use a lot of them in the near future!! I had actually forgotten all about the moving deductions, so thanks for that reminder:)

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Hey Jasnav - Yes, more people need to know about these deductions - who knows how much money they could save? Thanks for your comment! M

    • Jasnav profile image

      Jasnav 

      10 years ago

      Wow!

      All these are simple yet effective ways to keep your own money going back to the government. And sure enough.. most people don't even know about these deductions, leave alone getting the benefit.

      Kudos for giving out great information!

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      10 years ago from Texas

      Springboard - Thanks for the comment, I hope it helps you get a bit more back this year! M

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      Never thought of the looking for a job tax deduction, but it makes perfect sense.

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