A Partial List of Tax Deductibles
The list of tax deductibles allowed by the IRS is so long and complicated that nobody seems to know exactly how many there are. Even Jeff A Schnepper’s book How To Pay Zero Taxes, which is actually subtitled Your Guide To Every Tax Break The IRS Allows is really nothing of the sort, since reviews of the book indicate that it missed some examples. To try and compile an exhaustive list of tax deductibles would therefore be way beyond the scope of this short article. Instead, we will focus on some of the most commonly overlooked tax breaks.
A List of Tax Deductibles Relating to Cars
Several of the most often disregarded tax deductions relate to motor vehicles. Because the government wanted to encourage the purchase of hybrid vehicles (this was before the big three were forced to apply for government money because nobody wanted to buy the gas guzzling behemoths they manufactured – whether the auto industry bailout changes the government’s attitude to more efficient vehicles remains to be seen at the time of writing this), they were prepared to offer tax credits for doing so. The more efficient the vehicle, the bigger the credit, up to a maximum of $3,400.
You can also get a tax break for donating your car to charity. The IRS allows you to deduct the fair market value of your car, defined as the amount for which you would sell it to a willing buyer. For deductions over $500, you will need to fill in form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, along with your tax return. Speaking of what is open on christmas day
A List of Tax Deductibles for Charitable Donations
Every charitable donation you give can qualify as a tax deduction, even if it’s only giving a dollar to the person collecting outside the supermarket. Be sure to keep track of all your charitable giving. If you use your own car for volunteer work, you can claim mileage back. The current rate as of Christmas 2008 is 14 cents a mile.
Donating stocks and mutual fund shares to charity instead of cash can also lead to big write offs. If you owned the asset for more than a year, the write off value is that on the day you made the donation. Obviously, given the volatility of the financial markets, this approach carries with it high risks, but can also lead to christmas day restaurants.
Keeping track of all your donations in that much detail requires a lot of effort. But nothing worth doing ever came easy.