The IRS offers two possible deductions: the standard deduction and an itemized deduction. Most people will receive the standard deduction by default. Some people have more expenses than average and can take the itemized deduction instead. The following are different items that could be deducted on your income tax return.
Medical and Dental Expenses
NOTE: These expenses have to exceed Federal income by 10% or state income by 4% to be deductible. Therefore, you may be able to itemize on state if you are unable to itemize on Federal.
- Prescription medicines, including insulin.
- Medical supplies such as syringes, lancets, and test strips.
- Medical doctors, Dentists, Opthometrists (eye doctors), Chiropractors, Podiatrists, Phyiscal Therapists, Osteopathic doctors, Acupuncturists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Pyschoanalysts (medical care only.)
- Medical examinations, x-ray and laboratory services, insulin treatment, and whirlpool baths ordered by your doctor.
- Nursing help, including your share of the employment taxes paid. If you paid someone to do both nursing and housework, you may deduct only the cost of the nursing help.
- Hospital care, including meals and lodging, clinic costs, and lab fees.
- Qualified long-term services.
- The supplemental part of Medicare Insurance. (Medicare B + Medicare D)
- Medical aids such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, braces, crutches, wheelchairs, and guide dogs, including the cost of maintaining the dogs.
- Lodging expenses (but not meals) while away from home to recieve medical care in a hospital or a medical care facility related to a hospital. Do not include more than $50.00 per night for each eligible person.
- Ambulance service and other travel costs to get medical care. If you used your own car, you may claim what you spent for gas and oil to and from the place you received the care, or you may claim 24¢ per mile. Add parking and tolls to the amount you claim under either method.
Gifts to Charity
- Contributions or gifts to a church or qualified organization (must have a cancelled check, receipt, or bank statement).
- Fraternal orders.
- Verterans and certain cultural groups.
- Nonprofit schools, hospitals, etc.
- Federal, state, and local governments if the gifts are for public purposes.
- For volunteer work, you may take 14¢ per mile or the actual cost of gas and oil. Add parking and tolls.
- If you give $250.00 to any charity organization on one date, you must have in writing from the organization the amount given to that organization. You must have the statement by the date you file your return.
- Home mortgage.
- Points you paid to borrow money.
- Investment interest.
- State and local income taxes or sales tax for the previous year.
- Real estate taxes.
- Personal property taxes, including the ad valorem tax on car tags.
Casualty and Theft Losses
NOTE: All casualty and theft losses have to exceed 10% of income plus $100 on Federal and State to be deductible.
- You may be able to deduct part or all of each loss caused by theft, vandalism, fire, storm or similar acts of nature, and car, boat, and other accidents.
- Money lost because of the insolvency or bankruptcy of an institution.
NOTE: All miscellaneus deductions have to exceed income by 2% on Federal and State to be deductible.
- Safety equipment, small tools, and supplies you need for your job and are not reimbursed for.
- Uniforms required by your employer and which you may not usually wear away from work.
- Protective clothing required in your work such as hard hats, safety shoes, and safety glasses.
- Physical exams required by your employer.
- Dues to professional organizations and to chambers of commerce.
- Subscriptions to professional journals.
- Fees to employment agencies and other costs to look for a new job.
- Certain business use for part of your home.
- Safety deposit boxes.
- The previous year's tax preparation fees.
- Gambling losses up to the extent of gambling winnings.