5 Tax breaks that you may have overlooked

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By: Anna Sweeting
on 11th Oct,2011

2.4.5. The costs may include lodging and half the cost of meals. Also, they should track their miles if they drive to the training.
5 Tax breaks that you may have overlooked


As a tax payer, you are always concerned about saving money and paying as little as possible to the IRS, isn't it? Well, in that case, you should take the tax deductions seriously and itemize it in order to get more benefits.

Here are 5 tax breaks which most of us tend to overlook: 

1. Charitable gifts: Expenses that you incur while doing charitable work often aren't counted on tax returns. Thus, you won't be able to deduct the value of your time spent volunteering. However, if you've bought supplies for a group, then the cost of that material is considered as deductible. Also, if you use your vehicle for charitable purposes, then the IRS will let you deduct that travel at 14% per mile.

2. Costs incurred while job hunting: Those workers, who are already employed, but are looking for a new job in their present occupation, can deduct fees for resume preparation or taking help of outplacement agencies as long as they itemize. However, the itemized expenses must exceed 2% of their adjusted gross income before they produce any tax savings. 

3. Mortgage refinance points: When you refinance your existing mortgage, you might be able to deduct the points that you pay to your lender as long as you use the loan proceeds to improve your primary residence.

4. Moving expenses: Most of us are well aware of the fact that we can write off many moving expenses while we relocate to take another job. However, the IRS allows this write-off for moving expenses in case of your first job as well. Thus, a fresh graduate who gets his/her first job, at a distance from where he or she has been living, is eligible for this tax break.

5. Travel expenses incurred by military personnel: Those who are a part of the military reserve forces or/and National Guard and travel more than 100 miles as well as stay overnight for the training exercises, will be able to deduct related expenses when they file taxes. The costs may include lodging and half the cost of meals. Also, they should track their miles if they drive to the training. They will be able to deduct them on their tax returns at 50 cents per mile.

These less known tax breaks can save some of you a nice amount of tax money. So, don't overlook any of these possible tax breaks as you finish up your tax returns.

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