Every year, American taxpayers leave millions of dollars on the table for Uncle Sam—in the form of unclaimed tax deductions. With Tax Day just around the corner, it’s time to do one final check to make sure that you are not missing out on three of the most common deductions:
- Retirement contribution deductions for single-income couples and the self-employed. It’s not too late to open an IRA account and make a contribution for a non-working spouse or yourself if you’re self-employed to gain an additional tax deduction—plus some additional retirement funding. Simply do it before the tax deadline and keep in mind the maximum annual contribution is $5,500 per person, or $6,500 for people 50 and older.
- Sales taxes on big ticket items. Tax law allows individuals to deduct the larger of the amount paid in either state income tax or sales tax. While you should check the specific rules for your state, it’s worth checking this potential deduction out, especially if you made a major purchase such as a new car, truck or boat in 2015.
- Deductions for charitable contributions. Many people contribute to charities throughout the year and incur out-of-pocket expenses. This includes clothing donated to a local shelter or miles driven (14 cents per mile deduction) while volunteering for a charity. Just remember you need a receipt for any contribution over $250.
If you have yet to file your taxes, consider asking your tax professional if you qualify for any of these deductions and take that hard-earned money off the table so you can put it back in your pocket!