Taxes! Most people cringe or get angry when they hear the words. Yes April 17 will be here before you know; however you can make taxes work for you. Here are a few simple tips to increase your deductions and get a better bottom line, whether a refund or what you owe.
If you itemize take advantage of the following:
1. Keep track of all medical expenses. Even your over the counter medications. Medical expenses means premiums, co-pays, telephone calls, tests and any and all out of pocket expenses. Donít forget mileage!! Most taxpayers donít keep track of mileage to and from the doctors, hospitals and labs. It will add up quickly.
2. Did you know you can deduct your weight loss program as a medical expense? Confer with your doctor and see if you qualify. If you are clinically obese or have a Body Mass Index over 30, you may claim a weight loss program as an expense. It has to be ordered by your doctor to qualify. However, not all expenses will be deducible; most reduced calorie foods arenít deducible.
3. What about those health club memberships? Check with your medical program. Some HMOís will pay for your health club membership. Check with your coordinator to see if you qualify.
4. Improvements to your home for medical reasons are deducible. If you need to install a wheelchair ramp, elevator or make other improvements these are deducible. However, the only deduction is the difference between what it cost you and the amount it improved your property value.
Just a reminder your medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income before any expenses are allowed and deducted on a Schedule A. You must be doing a long form in order to reap the benefits.
Think itís too hard to keep track of expenses. All you need is a shoe box and a few letter sized envelopes. Just mark in Red each category and each time you have a receipt place it in the envelope. At the end of the year add each receipt in the envelope and youíre ready for taxes!!
Remember to just take the totals from each envelope and place in the appropriate box in your tax forms. You will find your taxes a much easier chore.