Ask Anderson 1.23.2020: Are You Missing Out on Deductions?
Home Mortgage Interest and Property Taxes
Depending on the amount of mortgage interest and property taxes you pay throughout the year, this deduction can be one of the biggest advantages of owning your home. If you pay more than $600 in mortgage interest on your property you will receive a 1098 statement from your mortgage lender. This statement should include all interest paid during the year, any deductible points, mortgage premium points, and any property taxes paid though your monthly mortgage payment. To claim the mortgage interest deductions you would fill out lines 8 through 9 on the Schedule A while the property taxes paid would be filled out on line 5b & 5c of the form.
Gifts to Charity
If you make a deductible contribution to a qualified entity or organization such as a church or a non-profit, you should be able to claim the contribution as an itemized deduction. Take note
that for cash and check donations, you can only write off the amount that exceeds the fair market value of anything that you received when making the donation. Make sure to either keep dates and amounts of the donations in your records, or get a receipt of your donations from the entity or organization that shows the total amount of your contribution.
If you are making a donation of property you should be able to write off the fair market value of the property that you are donating. If you make any donation of more than $250 you must keep records of the donation and the organization who received the property should provide you with a detailed receipt that shows the amount and description of the property donated. Along with the Schedule A, you must also attach a Form 8283 (Non cash Charitable Contributions) to tax return for any donation over $250.
Medical and Dental Expenses
One of the biggest deductions that individuals don’t claim on their Schedule A is this expense. While the limit on the expense makes it hard for many to qualify for it, it can be a large amount if you have very high medical expenses throughout the year due to a surgery
or any other expense that was not completely covered by your insurance or other sources. Any unreimbursed medical or dental expenses that you paid throughout the year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents could be claimed as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.
This does not just include doctor, dentist, and hospital fees but any prescription medicines and drugs. Also any medical aids such eyeglasses, contacts, and hearing aids can be claimed. If you make a lot of doctor visits or travel distances to your appointments make sure to keep ledger or all miles traveled, as well as expenses such as parking and tolls, as these can also be considered miscellaneous expenses.
These expenses are subject to a 7.5% limit, which means you can deduct the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). If you are able to claim this expense you would fill out lines 1 through 4 on your Schedule A.