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7 Most-Missed Tax Deductions and Credits

From job search expenses to gambling losses, don't overlook these ways to reduce your tax bill.

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7 Most-Missed Tax Deductions and Credits
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By Lisa Greene-Lewis

Tax deductions and credits can save you money at tax time, but many taxpayers miss them because they don't realize things they do in their everyday life can give them more money back.

One thing you should know is tax deductions and credits help your tax situation in two different ways: Tax deductions can save you money by lowering your taxable income. Tax credits directly reduce the taxes you owe, and if you qualify, you can claim a credit whether you itemize your deductions are not.

Here are seven of the most-missed tax deductions and credits you don't want to overlook:



Lisa Greene-Lewis is a certified public accountant and TurboTax tax expert. She has more than 15 years of experience in tax preparation, including positions as a public auditor, controller and operations manager. For more tax-related tips, go to blog.turbotax.intuit.com.


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24 Comments

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bkblue517

You will not miss any deductions if you use the Turbo Tax program!

March 16 2014 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bdgrizcp

BTW, your bounceback college grad can qualify you for head of household status. It's the equivalent of half a deduction. Even if they worked, when they live under your roof you can qualify.

March 16 2014 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joy

I had no idea that gambling LOSSES were tax deductable.
My question is...How do you get a receipt for gambling losses??

March 16 2014 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joy's comment
gramos555

You don't. You can deduct only as much as you won, so in other words, you can't fake it in this category. And if you won more than you lost, you pay income taxes on the net winnings. It's an old one.

It is similar to people who make things for a hobby and sometimes sell them (cakes, crafts, etc). The can deduct the expenses of that hobby UP TO THE AMOUNT they made selling stuff.

March 16 2014 at 9:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ga7smi

since you always lose more than win you deduct loses equal to your winnings unless your winnings ae obviously more than you have lost - if you win thousands the you better have good recors of your loses

March 16 2014 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
airbag444

I had my taxes fradulently filed in my name and social security number and the number of victims is rising rapidly- Good luck to those of you in my shoes that have to wait over 6-12 months to get YOUR OWN earned wages owed to you. GOOD LUCK

March 14 2014 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to airbag444's comment
jj2301

Funny how the Government can tell us who we've called, what we said to them, when we called, but can't be arsed to make sure it's really us who filed a tax return to get *our* money back.

If you can track my phone calls and internet usage, please take the trouble to make sure you're sending my refund *to me*! Jeez!

March 15 2014 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bdgrizcp

Good luck. A friend of mine got snarled in this mess and he's waited over a year to get his refund back. The only advice is: if you are due a refund, file as early as humanly possible. Like within hours of getting your W-2s.

March 16 2014 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

Republicans, people who cannot think for themselves and rely on big money of the GOP to tell them what to say and do. Shameful.

March 14 2014 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
betty_brock

Malarkey, nottoosmart. It's the Dems who parrot everything the lib media says. You live in Bazarro world where down is up, right is wrong and Obama is the messiah.

March 15 2014 at 4:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jj2301

Ah, I see DF removed my comment about EITC. It is a lump-sum welfare payment from taxpayers, nothing more.

Sorry if that's offensive. Maybe you should grow some thicker skin.

March 14 2014 at 1:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jj2301's comment
clwgeorgetownlaw

You really shouldn't be posting unless it is to boast of your ignorance.

March 15 2014 at 1:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clwgeorgetownlaw's comment
jj2301

Whatever there, G'town law.. You favor income redistribution, also known as equal outcome over equal opportunity.

It must be nice to play on the side of jealousy, envy and laziness.

March 17 2014 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
bdgrizcp

Yes, it may be government sponsired welfare but it serves a purpose for people who simply do not earn up to the poverty level. And there are a lot of these people.

March 16 2014 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bdgrizcp's comment
jj2301

but.. but.. It's welfare, in a lump-sum payment.

Call it what it is. It's not a refund; it's stealing from people like me and giving it to someone who didn't pay as much (if any) in taxes.

March 17 2014 at 11:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
jj2301

EITC is *not* a tax credit it is a transfer payment, from those who actually pay taxes to those who are essentially a drain on the system. It may be called a credit, but it's a lump-sum welfare payment, courtesy of real taxpayers.

March 14 2014 at 1:38 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jj2301's comment
clwgeorgetownlaw

Your ignorance is stunning. The Earned Income Tax Credit was designed to offset undercompensated individuals in society. EITC has been supported by both Democrats and Republicans and is sound economic theory. Wages are not a zero sum game. The most valuable members of society are often times those in the lower income brackets. It is a fact of capitalism that those in the higher income brackets make their fortunes on the labor of lower income individuals. If you want to keep society in some type of harmony and avoid revolution & unrest, it is vital to help compenstate the lower income individuals when then marketplace has failed to do so. These individuals work thus the term "earned income credit" is appropriate. Or do you also believe that capitalism is perfect and there are never failures in the marketplace? In that case, the economic term for you is "caveman"........ Seriously, your lack of knowledge of the system is stunning and you really shouldn't be posting unless it is to boast of your ignorance.

March 15 2014 at 1:11 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clwgeorgetownlaw's comment
jj2301

Why don't you just say you favor income redistribution and be done with it? You'd have saved us all some time.

March 15 2014 at 1:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
Mark Boknecht

Careful Daily Finance. First you point out that your deduction for losses cannot exceed your winnings. Then you confuse some of the unsuspecting readers that they can only deduct $2,000 in your example. But that's only true if they have Already included/reported their winnings. Otherwise, it's like you originally reported. If they reported no winnings, then they can't collect a deduction for losses. It can only be used to offset winnings.

March 14 2014 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

Why should you be able to take a deduction for your own stupidity? You gamble, you lose...your loss.

March 14 2014 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Rob's comment
clwgeorgetownlaw

Ummmm. Maybe because if you win then it is treated as income. So why wouldn't the reverse scenario earn a deduction? Thanks for playing Einstein....

March 15 2014 at 1:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clwgeorgetownlaw's comment
chuckpitboss

You can only deduct gambling losses up to, but not exceeding winnings. You either have to keep a diary of your gambling wins and losses or find losing tickets, like at a sports book trash bin.

March 16 2014 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
gramos555

It's really not for the average tourist visitor to Vegas or Atlantic City. This tax issue is aimed at professional gamblers. Why shouldn't they be able to take a deduction for losses if they are paying income tax on their winnings?

March 16 2014 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gramos555's comment
ga7smi

any winnings for which a 1099 form is given need to be reported

March 16 2014 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down