Editor’s note: Forbes Advisor may earn a commission on sales made through affiliate links on this page. However, this does not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
When it comes to your taxes, nobody wants to pay more than they need to. And while tax law allows for many tax deductions and tax credits, many are not claimed at tax time.
Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a small business owner, or just looking for ways to cut your tax burden, here are five overlooked and popular tax breaks that can help you cut your tax burden.
Tax day is Monday 17th May. So you still have time to take advantage of these overlooked and popular tax breaks.
Deduction of bad debts
Does anyone owe you money on a loan you give? Did you pay a contractor to do the job but they didn’t get the job done?
If you have made legitimate efforts to get your money back, such as For example, if you have written inquiries and phone calls to solicit your money, you can use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to file a non-business bad debt claim. A non-business bad debt is anything but a loan to a customer, supplier, dealer or employee. Credit sales to customers or business loan guarantees.
The IRS allows you to claim the deduction if you expect no chance of getting your money back. For example, you might think you would not get any money back from someone who owes you money and who is in financial difficulties or a home foreclosure.
You would need to report the bad debt allowance on Form 8949, Sales and Other Disposals of Capital Assets, Part 1, Line 1, and attach a detailed declaration to your tax return.
Your detailed explanation should include:
- A description of the money you owe
- The name of the debtor (the person or company that owes you money)
- A description of the business or family relationship between you and the debtor
- All the efforts you have made to collect the debt
- Why you believe that debt is completely worthless
Independent health insurance premiums
Are you self-employed and pay health insurance premiums?
You may be able to deduct rewards, including rewards for medical, dental, or long-term care. You can claim the self-employed health insurance deduction for payments for yourself and your family. The allowance is available for your children under the age of 27 even if you did not claim it on your tax return.
Your company must have net income to qualify for the deduction. A net profit is your gross business income minus your deductions. If you did not have a net profit, you can claim your premiums as an individual deduction on Form 1040 of the Federal Tax Return, Appendix A.
The IRS also allows owners who have an interest in a partnership and at least one S-Corporation shareholder of 2% to claim the deduction. You can claim the deduction in Appendix 1 of your Form 1040 on line 16.
Summer camp expenses for your children
Summer camps are expensive, but there may be tax breaks to offset the cost. The IRS allows you to claim child and care credits for qualifying expenses like summer camps while you or your spouse are at work (or looking for work). Your child must be under 13 years of age (unless they are physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves).
With the credit you can not only make a deduction for summer camps, but also claim the credit for the following:
- Education costs. Payments to a kindergarten, preschool, or other program below the kindergarten level.
- Before and after school. Amounts paid to care for your children before or after schooling.
- Transportation costs. Amounts paid to a care provider for transportation to and from the location where care is provided.
- Care outside your home. Out-of-home care costs are paid to a dependent care center or qualified personal care provider.
It is important to note that while the summer camp cost is qualified, the credit is intended to help parents during normal working hours. Therefore, you cannot make a deduction for overnight camps.
For tax year 2021 only, the American Rescue Plan increased qualification costs for 2020 from $ 3,000 to $ 8,000 per child (from $ 6,000 to $ 18,000 for two or more children).
For the 2020 tax year, there are no income restrictions on who can apply for the credit. The amount of credit is based on a percentage of your total eligible expenses. Individuals earning less than $ 15,000 can claim up to 35% of eligible expenses. Those who earn $ 43,000 or more can claim up to 20%.
If you earn up to $ 125,000 in 2021, 50% of eligible expenses are eligible. Also, the amount gradually decreases from 50% to 20% for income over $ 125,000 to $ 400,000, and eventually expires 1% for every $ 2,000 over $ 400,000. You can request the child and dependent credit balance on Form 2441 of your Form 1040.
Teacher trainer costs
Are you a teacher or educator and have you paid tuition fees during the year? If so, you may be able to make a deduction from your tax return.
Educators eligible for kindergarten through 12th grade can claim up to $ 250 in non-reimbursed expenses on their tax return ($ 500 if you and your spouse file a joint tax return and are both educators). An Eligible Educator also includes a K-12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or adjutant who works at least 900 hours per school year in a primary or secondary school.
You can claim expenses you pay for books, supplies, computer equipment, classroom materials, and other related expenses. You can also claim the deduction for personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectants and other consumables used to protect against the Covid-19 virus purchased on or after March 12, 2020.
The allowance must be paid or accrued during the tax year and can be claimed on Form 1040, Appendix 1.
Personal protective equipment
Americans bought more PPE in 2020 to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. PSA sales are projected to grow from $ 13.5 billion to an estimated $ 24.3 billion in 2024. Recently, the IRS announced that these purchases, which include masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes, are deductible as medical expenses on your tax return.
The IRS allows you to deduct the amount of total medical expenses that exceeds 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). For example, if your AGI is $ 35,000 and you paid $ 4,500 in medical expenses, you can claim an amount in excess of $ 2,625 ($ 35,000 x $ 0.075) on your tax return. If so, you are entitled to a deduction of $ 1,875.
To qualify, you would need to list your prints on Appendix A of your Form 1040. You should list your deductions, including medical, dental, charitable, mortgage, tax, and other deductions if they are greater than your standard applicable deduction. Your standard deduction is based on your enrollment status, income, and other factors. In most cases, the standard 2020 tax deduction for a married joint taxpayer is $ 24,800. For an individual and a head of household, the amount is $ 12,400 and $ 18,650, respectively.