Does the IRS owe you?

Each year, taxpayers leave a billion dollars on the table in deductions they didn’t take

(WTNH) — It’s tax time, and while many people worry what they owe the IRS, it turns out that Americans are not taking enough deductions on their taxes.

Each year, taxpayers leave a billion dollars on the table in deductions they didn’t take. If you divide up all the money from the deductions that weren’t taken on taxes, it works out to $460 per person. So much money is left behind because many people don’t know about all of the possible deductions.

Here are a few of your lesser-known deductions you can claim on your taxes this year:

  • If you volunteer for a charity, or even if you go to a charity function, you can deduct the cost of driving there and any parking fees, too. The deduction for that is 14 cents per mile.
  • If you’re fostering a cat or dog while the animal is waiting for a permanent home, you can deduct just about every expense – pet food, vet bills, kitty litter, even driving to the vet.
  • Anything you buy for work can be deducted on your taxes. Wear a uniform? Deduct it. Buy tools for the job? Deduct it. You’re a teacher and you buy construction paper and glue for class? Deduct it. If you drive during the day for work? You can deduct transportation during the work day, or if you work two jobs, you can deduct some of the cost of getting from one job to the next.
  • If you’re self-employed and work from home, you can deduct a portion of your rent, your utilities, even magazine subscriptions related to your field.
  • If you’re a working parent and leave the kids with a day care or babysitter, you could get a tax credit to offset the cost of child care.
  • Even the cost of planning your finances can be deducted, depending on how much you make. If the costs associated with tax planning, retirement investments, or stock broker fees add up to more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, you can deduct them.

Interested in even more deductions? The IRS website has even more deductions available, along with their criteria.

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