Please read on to discover eight suggestions for tax deductions…
Tax deductions for caregivers:
Most people giggle when they learn of my first job. Before I went into my field of study, I had a starter job straight out of college. My occupation, at the time, has nothing to do with this post. However, the information I learned then could prove quite helpful to caregivers.
Bare in mind, that you will need to speak with the person who prepares your taxes as to whether these tax write offs apply to your state and your situation. The majority of these tips may be implemented in most states, but always err on the side of caution and ask first.
Simple ways not to overpay Uncle Sam:
It is completely legal to look into ways to avoid overpaying on taxes. Ask your friends and fellow caregivers for their advice, then use the comment section below to let me know which write-offs I overlooked.
Each item on the following list will not apply to every caregiver, so make sure you read the whole list for ideas specific to your situation.
Most people are eligible to take a deduction on contributions made to their IRA and Roth IRA. You may also reduce your total tax bill by contributing to your company’s 401K or other retirement plans throughout the year.
Adjust your withholding-
For caregivers who are employed, look into adjusting your withholding so that you do not pay taxes and you do not get a large return. The refunds are fun, but remember that you have given your hard-earned money to the government as an interest-free loan.
This is interest paid on home loans, home equity lines of credit, and construction loans.
Contributions include more than just the dollar amount you gave to a charity. It also includes in-kind goods (such as items donated to a charitable thrift store, etc..) and mileage. Mileage is in italics because most people forget this part. If you drove your personal vehicle to volunteer for a charity, you may count that mileage at tax time.
Another point of interest, under this category, is a tip given to me by a neighbor who literally runs a 5K every weekend. She counts the entry fee for each race as a charitable contribution. She told me it is completely legal even though she receives a product (a T-shirt) from each race.
Contributions cannot be counted if a product or service was received. However, according to my neighbor who has been itemizing her taxes for many years, race entry fees can be deducted. Check with your account and look into the laws of your state before counting these.
These include wigs, glasses, dentures, insulin, bandages, artificial teeth, hearing aids, and artificial limbs. Yes, you can include mileage to and from your medical appointments. (Our family does not count visits to the local quick care. However, because we live in the metro area of a major city, we do have appointments that can be 30-50 miles away. We certainly itemize the longer drives.) As with the other items on our list, check with your accountant about medical expenses.
You should be able to claim a child credit for each child under age 17. The children may be your foster kids or grandchildren, but they must reside with you more than half of the year.
Home improvements that save energy-
The Federal Energy Star program allows different amounts depending on the item. Lower credit is given for windows, central air conditioning, and insulation. More credit is given for things such as a solar hot water heater.
Long-term healthcare costs-
If a doctor has requested therapy, personal care services, or rehab, you are most likely able to deduct these costs. Do not forget the italicized word we keep using- mileage. Not only are you allowed to count the mileage, but most states allow you to deduct a small amount toward over night lodging during long-term healthcare.
Parents and caregivers, what tips do you have at tax time? Your comments have been instrumental to other caregivers thus far.
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Does preparing taxes seem boring? Try checking out one of our more uplifting posts instead. Simply click on the blue underlined word: Laughter When it is Difficult to Laugh, Make Special Part 2, Places You Do Not Want to Be, Dreaded Events, Caregiver Loneliness Part 3, and Emotional Energy.