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7 Most-Missed Tax Deductions and Credits

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

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A magnified 1040 tax form for filing yearly income taxes
Alamy
By Lisa Greene-Lewis

Do these deductions and credits apply to you?

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 lower their taxable income. Here are seven of the most-missed tax deductions and credits you don't want to overlook.


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TurboTax Articles

What Are the Tax Penalties for Smokers?

Starting in 2014, the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act made you responsible for having minimum essential coverage, or MEC, in health insurance. Otherwise, you need to be eligible for a health care exemption, or you could pay a penalty when filing your income tax return. This requirement for minimum essential coverage applies to smokers and nonsmokers alike. If you're not covered by an employer's health plan and are a smoker, you can go to the health care marketplace to find MEC. If you're still unable to comply, you may have a penalty applied.

5 Steps to Navigate the Healthcare Marketplaces

To navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace, you have to know what you want from a health plan. Have your previous plan handy to make comparisons, as well as household and income information. If this is your first health plan, be aware of your needs and know your tax situation. Eligibility depends on the size of your family and combined income from all sources.

What Is Form 8941: Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums

Small business owners who subsidize the cost of employee health insurance premiums may be able to get some of that money back by claiming the credit for small employer health insurance premiums on their taxes. Some of the eligibility requirements, however, limit the number of people a business can employ and the average annual wages they earn. Qualifying as a small employer can reduce your tax bill by the amount of the credit you report on Form 8941.

What Is Form 8911: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit

In light of rising gasoline prices and environmental concerns, consumers have become more receptive to buying cars and trucks that run on types of fuel other than gasoline. The U.S. government introduced a tax incentive to encourage the installation of facilities to store or dispense alternative fuels in 1992. That incentive has evolved into a tax credit that also applies to equipment that recharges electric cars. If you equipped your home or business to accommodate alternative fuel vehicles, you may be able to use Form 8911: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit to reduce your federal tax obligation.

What Is Form 8885: Health Coverage Tax Credit

The health coverage tax credit is a program in place for tax years from 2002 to 2013 to help eligible individuals and families by paying a portion of premiums for qualified health insurance programs. Since the legislation authorizing the credit expired in January 2014, tax returns filed in 2014 for the 2013 tax year represent the last time eligible taxpayers can claim the credit.

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jaidacole

I have a little tip for saving on taxes. Move to a state with lower income taxes. This one step can save you thousands a year, and you don't have to change any other aspects of your life. Also invest in tax deferred assets. Even life insurance can grow tax deferred and pay you dividends. I have a nice little policy from LifeAnt that should net me about 4-6% tax deferred over the long run. The more money you keep from the government, the more you have in the end. Its not even about being creative, the information is all right here for us, its just about being smart.

April 01 2014 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

You all must not have heard that the President has and is focusing on helping what is left of the middle class....please...help is on the way !!!!

Warren Buffet is going to help everyone with something I heard him say he would pay more taxes!!!! Just grab a beer and watch tv and relax everything will be ok.

April 01 2014 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert

Look, I got married last year, it didn't work out. She left me and took everything I had. May I write that off as a gambling loss? ... or an education deduction - I learned more about human nature in 7 months than I learned in 5 years of college.

April 01 2014 at 4:29 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Robert's comment
SPQR

I think that falls under natural disasters ! Like being hit by a hurricaine and not being covered by insurance

April 01 2014 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
annrcpa

Unfortunately unworkable marriages do not constitute gambling or education losses. Did you get divorced before December 31? If so, you will have to fill as a single with only the single standard deductions and exemptions. Sorry, I was in a disasterous relationship once too, There just is no tax advantage. Unless when she cleaned you out you reported to the police and they wrote up a report. Then, this is stretching it a little, you could file for a deduction of casualty and theft losses.

April 03 2014 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
otwpalm

It is past time for a major overhaul of our tax system. This year's forms are the worst I have seen in 50 years. The easy solution is to vote all incumbants out at every election. Sooner or later the thieving ba$tards will get the message.

April 01 2014 at 2:35 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
bill perry

Revise the MODEL "A" Tax system we have today. Help everyone earning less than $40,000 a year. NO TAX. Eleminate taxes on SS income. Everyone should pay FICA taxes including Millionaires, but if they earn more than $150,000/year at retirement, they should not be allowed to collect SS payments. It would solve the SS problem, reduce the deficiet and make many Americans Happy that they live in AMERICA. In addition, Congress must abide by these rules. NO MORE KINGS in AMERICA... Bill Perry

April 01 2014 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to bill perry's comment
Max Lilly

Death and Taxes, hmmmm, choices, whether you are Union or Confederate, taxes can make WAR and lose 650,000 young men's lives.

April 01 2014 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
knbreid630

Watch out for that gambling deduction...if your winnings put you into the next higher bracket, even the loss deduction won't help much...Higher payback percent !!

April 01 2014 at 11:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bdgrizcp

If your bounceback college grad moved back in, you may be able to claim Head of Household status (irrespective of your filing status) and pick up 1/2 a deduction. This works if he/she files their own return.

April 01 2014 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lou2school

Oh please---Unless you own a home and pay a lot of mortgage interest and high property taxes or you have an astronomical amount of medical bills that are not covered by health insurance, you may find that all these deductions will get you nowhere because you don't benefit from itemizing deductions unless your grand total is higher than the standard deduction which is currently $6100 for a single taxpayer.

April 01 2014 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lou2school's comment
arubadooba

yep, itemized deductions are for med, dental, charities, & mortgage; i only got to use them once in the last 7 years. now, it's std deduction & no bother w/ donations, med bills (i have few...for now) which can't reach the 10% of AGI, or job costs. middle class & unemployed are always in the drain.

April 01 2014 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lou2school

Unless you own a home and pay a lot of mortgage interest and high property taxes or you have an astronomical amount of medical bills that are not covered by health insurance, you may find that all these deductions will get you nowhere because you don't benefit from itemizing deductions unless your grand total is higher than the standard deduction which is currently around $5800 for a single person.

April 01 2014 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply