If there's a wedding I've played it, a wet t-shirt contest I've hosted it up and down the east coast from Ohio to south Florida. Now I've come to pollute your nightime with plenty of verbal deadwood..he,he,he. I love COLD BEER, LOUD ROCK, & warm coffee colonics on the beach...but enough about me.
The deadline to file your taxes is a week away. And it's no wonder people hate this time of year, because the U.S. tax code consists of about 4 MILLION words. And since 2001, there have been about 4,500 changes to it.
So to help you out, here are the five deductions and credits you're most likely to MISS, according to "U.S. News & World Report".
1. Dependents. For every dependent you have, you can write off $3,800. But a lot of people don't, because they don't realize that the relative they've been supporting CAN sometimes be claimed as a, quote, "qualifying relative."
Or even the friend who's been crashing in their spare bedroom for the past year. The main requirement is they have to have made less than $3,800 last year.
2. The Earned Income Tax Credit. Which you might qualify for if you're low-to- middle-income. And if you have three dependents, you can claim a tax credit of up to $5,891.
But the IRS estimates that about 20% of people who qualify don't end up claiming it, mostly because if you make under a certain amount, you don't HAVE to file a tax return. And if you don't file, you can't claim any tax credits, which means no refund. If you're single and under 65, you're not required to file a federal tax return unless you made more than $9,750 last year. Or if you're the head of household, it's $12,500. But if you qualify for the earned income tax credit, you SHOULD file, so you get a refund.
3. The Child and Dependent Care Credit. If you work and have kids under 13 who go to day care, you might qualify for a deduction of up to $2,100. And you can also deduct the cost of summer camp.
4. Charitable Donations. But that doesn't just mean the amount of money you gave to charity last year.
If you volunteered at something like a local soup kitchen, you can deduct any money you paid for parking . . . and also 14 cents per mile if you had to drive there.
5. Job-Search Expenses. Meaning any money you spent on printing resumes, postage, and even travel expenses . . . as long as the job you were applying for was in the same field as your previous job.