Deductions Feed

April 15 was Tax Day for most of us. That included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. When Biden and Harris took office, they reinstated the annual tradition of our country's top elected officials voluntarily releasing their tax filings. The 2023 tax year returns of the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff earn this weekend's Saturday Shout Out. You can see the details at the White House's official Tax Returns online page. In addition to this year's filings, there are links to the returns filed by the president and... Read more →


Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →


A scenic overlook is always worth a stop when traveling. But when it comes to taxes, you definitely don't want to overlook tax breaks that could save you money. (Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash) There are two ways to reduce your tax bill. You can take deductions, which reduce the amount of your money that's taxable. You also can claim tax credits, which cut any tax you owe dollar-for-dollar, and in a few cases get you refund. The options are not mutually exclusive. But they don't do you any good if you don't claim the ones to which you're... Read more →


Doing your taxes can be stressful, but don't add to it by making an avoidable filing error. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The tax filing, and paying if you owe, deadline is nearly here. Millions of us have yet to send our 1040 forms to the Internal Revenue Service. So next week is likely to be frantic, especially on the part of taxpayers who are doing their own taxes. This also means that these last-minute filers might make some mistakes as they hurry to get their taxes done by April 15. Don't be one of them. Tax... Read more →


The Nov. 20, 2023, landslide near Wrangell, Alaska. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities) Residents of Hawai'ian counties that were devastated by wildfires in 2023 got a bit a good news from the Internal Revenue Service last week. The tax agency now is giving them until Aug. 7 to complete some tax filing and payment tasks. Tribal Alaskans who sustained damages from severe storm-induced land- and mudslides also get more tax time. Their new tax deadline is July 15. As is the usual procedure, the IRS tax relief decisions follow official declarations by the Federal Emergency Management... Read more →


Most taxpayers have always used the standard deduction amount. That group of filers grew even more after the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which dramatically increased the standard amounts. But even if you find the easier standard deduction option the way to file, stop. You might be missing some tax breaks that are available to every taxpayers, both those who claim the standard deduction and those who itemize. All taxpayers can also claim any of the two dozen above-the-line tax deductions for which they qualify. Tax law and form changes: When the TCJA became... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service IRS is expected to process more than 160 million individual and business tax returns this filing season. Through March 15, the IRS had received nearly 71.6 million individual returns. Some taxpayers probably put off filing in the hopes that the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act would be enacted by Tax Day. Several of its provisions could help both personal and business filers. Whether that will happen is still unclear, as the tax bill that cleared the House has hit a lot of speed bumps in the Senate. Other taxpayers, however, aren't that concerned... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Spring officially arrived at 11:06 p.m. March 19. Have you finished your spring cleaning yet? Me neither. But I have started. To be honest, it was prompted when the hubby and I had some work done to our house. With the structure getting some sprucing up, it only seemed natural to replace some interior items. The next question was what to do with the old stuff? For many, a yard sale is a good way to get rid of unwanted but workable items. But those who don't want to spend a Saturday haggling with... Read more →


Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash Moving to another country for a job involves a lot of changes, but one thing stays the same. Thanks to our worldwide tax system for individuals, as a U.S. citizen you remain a U.S. taxpayer, regardless of where you live. That makes you responsible for filing federal tax returns on your overseas earnings. Uncle Sam, however, does provide some tax breaks to his citizens living and working abroad. They get more time to file, with a June 15 deadline. And thanks to tax treaties, globally peripatetic taxpayers also get certain foreign earned income exclusions... Read more →


Photo by Caleb Cook on Unsplash Back in February in posting about tax relief for Maine residents who endured flooding, I predicted that some Californians would be joining the growing group of storm-struck areas granted more time to file 2023 returns. That wasn't a bold prediction. I've been weather and tax watching for decades, so I was confident in my tax forecast, which was correct. But some southern Californians who were hit by the recent historic rains aren't the only ones for whom the IRS has granted tax relief and a new June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Some... Read more →


Herbal supplements might make you feel better, but such products typically don't qualify as medical treatments that are eligible for tax-favored treatment. (Photo by Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash) Health savings accounts, or HSAs, can offer some taxpayers triple tax savings. Holders of HSAs also have a longer window to contribute to these tax-advantaged plans. As noted in my March tax moves post, you can contribute to your HSA by Tax Day (that's April 15 this year), and have it count as money put into the account for the prior tax year. In addition to being a... Read more →


March's arrival means it's time to start stalking some tax savings. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) While the saying that March comes in like and goes out like a lamb usually is a reference to this month's weather transition from winter to spring (or, here in Central Texas, to summer already), feline aggressiveness could come in handy at tax filing time. There are plenty of tax moves you can make during this final full month before Tax Day, which is this year is the normal April 15 due date. Here are five tax matters to consider in... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction. Those who opt to itemize do so because they have enough tax deductible expenses to exceed their filing status' standard amount. In most cases, those expenses are medical. Generally, you can claim allowable medical costs for yourself, your spouse, and dependents as long as the treatments were prescribed by a physician as necessary to diagnose, ease, or prevent a physical or mental illness. The amount of these medical costs that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income count on your Schedule A, the form where you detail... Read more →


The IRS is OK with celebrating the closing of a business deal on a corporate jet, but not so accepting when the aircraft is used for personal jaunts. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) If Elon Musk and Taylor Swift were unhappy with the attention their jet flights were getting from a private citizen, a federal agency's plans could cause them even more turbulence. The Internal Revenue Service today announced that it is initiating dozens of audits on business aircraft that were used for personal travel. The audits will focus on aircraft usage by large corporations, large partnerships, and high-income... Read more →


Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash Last August, parts of Michigan were struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding, prompting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue this month a major disaster declaration for nine counties. The Internal Revenue Service subsequently announced tax relief for those individual residents and business owners. One of the tax considerations is a new June 17 filing and payment deadline for the affected Michigan taxpayers. The Great Lakes State is the sixth to be granted the new mid-June Tax Day due to disasters. Some Michigan residents join those who were ill-treated by Mother Nature... Read more →


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash Throughout life, we all encounter momentous firsts. First day of school. First time at a paying job. First time holding your child. First time you file a tax return. OK, that last one is probably not an event you celebrate, even if it produced a tax refund. In fact, if you remember filing your first Form 1040 it at all, it's probably because it was not a good experience. There's no way to replace that bad tax memory. But there are steps that first-time tax filers can take to make sure their initiation into the... Read more →


Muddy tracks photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash June 17 is becoming the new Tax Day for many taxpayers. Unfortunately for them, the two additional months are because they live in areas hit by major disasters. West Virginia taxpayers are the latest to join this unwelcome club. Other states where individual and business tax filers have a disaster-related June 17 deadline are Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. In West Virginia, the Internal Revenue Service has announced tax relief for Mountain State taxpayers in Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Harrison, and Kanawha counties. Those five WV counties sustained damages from severe storms,... Read more →


Maine taxpayers join those in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Rhode Island disaster areas for whom Tax Day now is a mid-summer event. Maine road washed away after last December's severe storms. (Photo courtesy Maine Governor's Office via Facebook) Much of California is overrun today by an atmospheric river unleashing heavy rain and wind. Judging from the images of the damages, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) likely will eventually declare the hardest hit areas as major disasters. The Internal Revenue Service then will follow, granting tax relief to those in the designated locales. But that's a bit down the flooded California... Read more →


Some other taxpayers in areas hit by more recent major disasters get even later deadlines — Feb. 29 and June 17 — to complete various 2023 tax tasks. Major disasters can strike anywhere, any time. When tax deadlines and the catastrophes coincide, the Internal Revenue Service gives affected filers more time. Some of those deadlines are coming up in February. (Disaster collage courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Yes, the current tax filing season just started this week, and millions already have sent their 2023 returns to the Internal Revenue Service. But taxpayers in eight states and two U.S. territories... Read more →


Most taxpayers will never be as chill as this tabby, especially now that the annual tax filing season is here. But these tips could make the tax task a little easier. (Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash) If you've already got your 2023 tax return ready to send to the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow, Jan. 29, when the agency starts processing filings, you can peruse other items on the ol' blog. (Thank you!) If, however, you're not quite ready yet to tackle Form 1040, I got you. Even when your taxes aren't complicated, many of us dread filling out tax... Read more →