For some people, Tax Day is like a holiday.
They’re not always tax nerds like we are, either! Often times, the taxpayers who really come alive during tax season are the ones who thrive on the details.
Their taxes look good. Darn good. They are sticklers for the details, and they make sure to check, double-check, and even triple-check their tax returns to ensure each and every form is error-free and ready for a quick processing trip at the IRS.
Whether it takes you a couple hours or a couple weeks, you absolutely deserve to have the excitement of that small group of taxpayers who thrive when doing their taxes. But we totally understand: You probably aren’t one of those people.
Finding taxes thrilling is not a common trait by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, we’re pretty sure the list of people who get earnestly excited for tax season is probably limited to, like, our team and maybe three people at the IRS.
But if we’re going to be honest, you are missing out on one thing: The thrill that comes from discovering a new tax deduction.
There are hundreds of deductions out there, but most of us never know more than a handful: business expenses, work mileage on our cars, and maybe a couple others. And that’s trouble, because not only is it neat to see your tax refund go up, but it’s empowering to have the confidence that comes with knowledge about how your taxes work—and how to make them work for you.
Today, we want to give you a few tips for finding extra tax deductions. We’ll point out a few you may or may not already know about, and we’ll tell you how to seek out the ones you may end up calling favorites this year!
While the broad nature of a blog means we can’t just tell you exactly which deductions you’re leaving on the table that apply to your situation, we can tell you where to look for them or how to think about finding them in ways you aren’t right now.
(Of course, if you do want some exact recommendations, you can always give us a call. Shameless plug, we know.)
Your taxes are different from every other taxpayer’s in some unique way. It may be your business, or your two part-time jobs, or something else entirely. Perhaps you invest in cryptocurrency or donate to charity!
Your taxes are unique to you, and because of that, so are many of the unique tax deductions you’ll have access to.
The first step to finding extra tax deductions is embracing what makes your income unique, then using that as a starting point to discover new tax credits and deductions. For example, did you know your investment losses are tax deductible? And did you know you can deduct the normal wear and tear on any income-producing property?
There are plenty of overlooked and outright hidden deductions you can find by looking through your finances and seeking out deductions and credits that may be unique to your situation—and not everyone else’s. Start there and you’ll be sure to uncover something new.
You know who knows the most about tax credits and tax deductions? Well, if you guessed us, we’ll give you credit—because you’re right. But if there’s one group that can give us a run for our money in terms of tax knowledge, it’s the IRS itself.
It makes perfect sense that the people who know the most about U.S. tax code are the ones who wrote it in the first place. From basic things, like your filing status, to minute things, like what to do if you earned income in multiple states or outside the U.S.—the IRS is basically a one-stop shop for knowledge on all things tax. And fortunately for you, our intrepid learner, they’ve made sure to make much of this information readily available.
You shouldn’t have to be a tax expert or have a law degree to understand what’s going on with your taxes, which is why most of your frequently asked questions are answered on the IRS website. To discover tax credits you may have yet to learn about, simply start searching! This can be a bit of a scattershot, but it can be very reassuring to get your information firsthand.
Okay, now do you know who has the best knowledge about tax credits and tax deductions—second only to the IRS itself? Finally, it’s time to talk about us!
Just kidding. Sort of.
Here’s the deal. We always recommend having assistance with your taxes. Most taxpayers simply don’t have the in-depth knowledge that is required to get the most out of their deductions and maximize their tax refunds. And that’s okay! It requires intense training as a lawyer or CPA, and the letter and language of U.S. tax laws changes frequently.
If you want to get the most out of your taxes and give yourself the best possible foot forward on your taxes, you should absolutely look outside of your own home and bring in a tax team. Now, it doesn’t have to be us, but it should be one experienced with both national and state tax laws in your area (see our post on how to spot a bad tax prep service from a good one). Working with a pro gives you a much better chance of finding hidden tax credits you didn’t even know existed.
Finding a new tax deduction can feel like winning the lottery. It’s a windfall, one that can leave you with more money in your pocket and a whole lot more confidence once Tax Day rolls around.
You shouldn’t have to be content with the few tax credits you already know about. In fact, as tax laws continue to evolve, you should evolve with them—and navigate your way to greater savings and greater confidence. Sure, finding new deductions can require a fair deal of searching. But we promise your effort will be worth it.