If you’re hoping to keep more money this tax season, it can pay to get creative. When it comes to uncle sam, the more tax deductions the better.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect in 2018, and with it, came some major changes to the way taxes are filed. Some important changes include:
- the standard deduction being double to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples filing jointly
- the elimination of personal exemptions
- major changes to itemized deductions
Here are 7 unusual tax deductions that could save you money
Disclosure: This is general advice, and you should seek help from your own professional as situations can vary. Please note this post contains affiliate links.
1. Your wedding dress
According to a recent survey from The Knot, the average wedding dress costs $1,509.
If you’re on a budget and you’re not emotionally attached to your wedding collecting dust in your closet, you can donate it and get a deduction for the amount donated.
Generally, you can expect about 50% of its cost. Think of it as get a wedding dress for half to price.
Be sure to get a receipt from the organization you donated it to.
2. Your guard dog(s)
As a business owner, if you have a guard dog to protect your property, you may be able to deduct the costs associated with caring for the animal.
Be sure you have the dog for legitimate business purposes.
In other words, your family cat or dog don’t apply here – the IRS considers them as personal expenses.
3. Getting in Shape
Has your doctor told you lately that you need to get in shape because your health (or even life) could be in jeopardy due to your physical condition?
If so, you’re in luck.
You may be able to deduct the cost of just about any remedy to drop a few pounds, lower your cholesterol, improve your heart health and anything your doctor signs off on.
The key here that it has to be prescribed by a medical physician (not self-prescribed).
4. Your vehicle registration
Some states base the fee for registration on the vehicle’s value. The portion of the registration fee that is based on your car’s value may be deductible.
To qualify, the fee must be assessed annually.
If you live in one of those states, you must itemize your deduction to claim it (instead of the standard deduction).
5. Charitable gifts
Yes, charitable donations (whether money or goods were donated) are deductible.
What you may not know is you can also deduct the cost of out of pocket expenses for any qualifying charitable work.
Let’s say you make cookies for a fundraiser. Don’t forget to keep your grocery store receipt because you can deduct the cost of the ingredients you used to bake the cookies.
6. Cosmetic surgery
If you work in the entertainment industry where your looks are an important factor in generating income, you may be able to write off cosmetic surgery.
As long as it can be reasonably expected to make you more money, that plastic surgery may be deductible
7. Pet Moving expenses
Are you relocating for a new job?
Most of us know we can deduct moving expenses but did you know those expenses could also include the cost of moving your pet.
If you’re flying your pet over, buying a cage to transport or any other costs you incur to move your pet with you may be deductible.
Want more tax savings? Here’s another way you can keep more money this tax season.
Bottom line is…
Most of us cringe at the thought of doing out taxes and honestly, it can be intimidating at first.
But filing your taxes is much easier than you realize.
Personally, I don’t think there is ever any harm in understanding and taking some ownership over your taxes. Not to mention, the more you know the fewer tax deductions you’ll miss out on.
And yes, this is coming from a CPA who already understands and is comfortable with taxes…
But I’ve helped countless clients take ownership of their taxes and they’ve all been glad they no longer avoid taxes like the plague.
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Do you claim any other unusual tax deductions?