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  • Writer's pictureNeil Boone

Tax Deductions: What Are They And How Do They Work?

When it comes to taxes, most people want to pay as little as possible. One way to lower your tax bill is through tax deductions. But what exactly are tax deductions, and how do they work?

A tax deduction is an expense that can be subtracted from your taxable income, thereby reducing the amount of tax you owe. For example, if you earned $50,000 in income but had $5,000 in deductible expenses, your taxable income would be $45,000. This means you would owe less tax than if you had not taken any deductions.

So, what types of expenses can be deducted? The IRS allows deductions for various expenses, including:

  1. Charitable donations: If you donated money or goods to a qualified charity during the tax year, you may be able to deduct the value of your donation.

  2. Mortgage interest: If you own a home and have a mortgage, you may be able to deduct the interest you paid on your mortgage during the tax year.

  3. State and local taxes: You may be able to deduct the amount you paid in state and local income, sales, and property taxes.

  4. Medical expenses: If you have significant medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, you may be able to deduct the amount that exceeds a certain percentage of your income.

  5. Business expenses: If you are self-employed or have a side business, you may be able to deduct certain expenses related to your business, such as office supplies, equipment, and travel expenses.

It's important to note that not all expenses are deductible, and some deductions have specific rules and limitations. For example, the deduction for state and local taxes is limited to $10,000 per year, and the medical expense deduction is only available if your expenses exceed 7.5% of your income.

To claim a tax deduction, you must itemize your deductions on your tax return using Schedule A (Form 1040). This means you must list each deductible expense separately and provide documentation to support your claim. Alternatively, you can take the standard deduction, which is a fixed amount based on your filing status, without itemizing your deductions.

In conclusion, tax deductions can help you reduce your tax bill, but it's important to understand the rules and limitations that apply. If you have questions about which deductions you qualify for or how to claim them, consider consulting a tax professional or using tax software to help guide you through the process.



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