Monday, February 16, 2009

Tips for a Larger Tax Refund

No one ever wants to pay more taxes than necessary, but this year it's even more important to save every penny you can. Here are some tips that can help you get a larger refund:

Property Tax Deduction for Non-Itemizers: Before 2008, only people who itemized their deductions could deduct property taxes. For 2008, individuals who do not itemize can deduct up to $1,000 of property tax on a joint return or $500 on a single return.

Driving Deductions: The IRS increased the cents-per-mile deduction for business-related driving expenses from 50.5 cents to 58.5 cents from July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008. They also increased the rate for deducting medical and moving driving-related expenses from 19 cents to 27 cents for that same time period.

Disaster Losses: Casualty losses (i.e. like those from storm or fire damage) are normally deductible only to the extent they exceed 10% of AGI. For 2008, casualties in federally declared disaster areas can be deducted without having to abide by the 10%-of-AGI rule, which raises the amount that is deductible.

Capital Losses: Review your portfolio and note all your realized losses for 2008. You can write these off against capital gains and you can have a net loss of up to $3,000 deductible against your salary and other ordinary income. What's more, any excess can be used to offset gains or can be deducted in 2009 or later years.

Retirement Plan Contributions: You can make tax-saving contributions to retirement plans for 2008 through April 15, 2009.

Charitable Donations: Not only can you claim deductions for money and items you donate to a charity, you can also claim deductions for expenses you incur on a charity's behalf (i.e. driving costs, printing costs, long distance phone call costs, etc.).

Make sure you take time to go through your records carefully so you receive the biggest refund possible. And if you are looking for a great tax professional to help you, please let me know and I'll be happy to recommend someone.
Information compliments of Diversified Capitol Mortgage

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